August 8th, 2016, the US Department of Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory published the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001622, an announcement directed at developing technology for CO2 capture and utilization from flue gas of coal fired power plants. Rather than sequester the CO2, DOE is encouraging the development of technologies to utilize the CO2, by converting it into valuable products. The DOE is NOT interested in projects that involved alternative power sources (such as solar and wind) nor are they interested in projects that would use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. Projects that can demonstrate effectively utilization of all levels of heat in a coal fired power plant, integrate process and materials development that accelerate time to market for products, and target high-value products like carbon nanofibers, plastics, fuels, and concrete will be most successful.

In their call for applications, DOE recognizes that no single approach will fit every situation. They have specified 3 areas of interest:

  • Biological based concepts for beneficial use of CO2
  • Mineralization concepts utilizing CO2 with industrial wastes
  • Novel physical and chemical processes for beneficial use of carbon

Applicants should expect to install their technology in a coal fired plant for validation and verification; however, when needed the flue gas can be modeled to meet the current air quality standards of the EPA. That is particulate matter, SOX, NOX, and Hg levels will be at appropriate levels as to comply with the current EPA regulations. The DOE indicates all successful applicants will provide a technoeconomic analysis of their proposed technology clearly illustrating how their new technology is an improvement over current technologies, as well as discussing how the technology can be integrated into current coal fired power plants.

DOE is expecting all successful applications and technologies to be commercially viable by 2025. SOFI is excited to see DOE emphasize commercialization capabilities of technology directed at CO2 utilization. Developing a market for products generated from captured CO2 is key in moving us toward a carbon neutral society.

So, how is your application for the National Energy Technology Laboratory & US Department of Energy’s new CO2 utilization program going? Remember the application deadline is October 3rd, 2016. We hear the application portal can be finicky, so we suggest you submit as early as possible – don’t waiting until the last minute or it might not make it in. Good Luck!