NET Power has been successfully demonstrating a process involving burning fossil fuels with oxygen rather than air to generate electricity without emitting CO2 in Texas.
The 50MWth demonstration plant in La Porte is based on the Allam Cycle, which is a high-pressure, oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 cycle that results in low-cost electricity from fossil fuels while producing net-zero air emissions. As well as selling the power generated, the plant also sees the CO2 and other by-products such as nitrogen and argon – meaning the cost of electricity is 1.9¢/ kWh compared to 4.2¢/kWh as is the case for a traditional combined cycle natural gas plant.
Other advantages of the Allam Cycle include that the power plant is much smaller and can be built in more areas than older plants would be able to.
Adam Goff, Policy Director for NET Power, said that most projects using the technology will be deployed in developing countries which are in need of energy and planning to install thousands of traditional coal plants – the largest potential increase in carbon emissions over the next decades.