Technology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Tags: energy management

As part of an effort to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, RTI International will further develop a novel and cost-effective process aimed at reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released from coal-fired power plants.

RTI was awarded a three-year, $4 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL) to continue the development of a carbon dioxide capture technology that is based on an inexpensive, dry, reusable sorbent. The technology has been in development at RTI for the past five years and is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at coal-fired power plants as well as natural gas plants, cement plants and petroleum refineries.

"The release of carbon dioxide emissions into our atmosphere is becoming one of the major environmental issues of the early 21st century," said Thomas Nelson, RTI's project director. "Providing power plants with a lower cost, lower energy-intensive technology for carbon dioxide capture will help to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and thus help to control global climate change."

As part of the project, RTI will work with BOC Gases, Electric Power Research Institute, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ARCADIS Inc., ADA-ES Inc., Solvay Chemicals and Süd-Chemie Inc. to design and build a demonstration system that will be tested at a coal-fired facility. The project team also will assess the economical and market feasibility of the process. DOE NETL will provide technical input, direction and vision to the project.

DOE's Energy Information Administration projects a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions – from 25,028 million metric tons in 2003 to 43,676 million metric tons in 2030 – and the potential for changes in the global climate. In response to these potential changes, NETL manages an extensive portfolio of laboratory- and field-testing projects that have significant promise for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

RTI’s carbon dioxide research projects are part of the clean energy program of RTI’s Center for Energy Technology. RTI researchers are developing innovative solutions for problems associated with the commercial production and use of clean energy for electric power generation as well as fuels for industry and transportation. RTI researchers also are working in areas such as carbon sequestration, hydrogen production and storage, biomass conversion, advanced gasification, clean fuel technologies, and gas cleaning technologies.

About RTI International  
RTI International is dedicated to conducting research and development that improves the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. With a worldwide staff of more than 2,500, RTI offers innovative research and technical solutions to governments and businesses worldwide in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, democratic governance, economic and social development, energy, and the environment. The second largest independent nonprofit research organization in the United States, RTI maintains nine offices in the U.S., five international offices, and one international subsidiary, as well as project offices around the world. For more information, visit

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