Department of Energy Announces $43 Million to Develop Carbon Capture and Storage Technology

From Energy.gov

November 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $43 million in funding to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that enable power generators to be responsive to grid conditions in a high variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment.

The FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program seeks to develop technologies that address difficulties in decarbonization of electricity systems, focusing specifically on complications in CCS design, operations, and commercialization potential with the increasing penetration of high VRE sources such as wind and solar power.

“Flexible CCS technology has the potential to achieve unprecedented carbon capture that will revolutionize the market,” said Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “The FLECCS program will quickly advance our carbon capture technology to bring us closer to flexible, low-cost, net-zero carbon electricity systems.”

FLECCS projects will develop retrofits to existing power generators as well as novel systems with carbon-containing fuel input and electricity output.

The program will have two phases. Phase 1 will focus on designing and optimizing CCS processes that enable flexibility on a high-VRE grid. Phase 2 will focus on building components, unit operations, and small prototype systems to reduce the technical risks and costs associated with CCS systems. Projects will be selected to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 at the conclusion of the initial funding period, based on the output and capacity expansion analysis of the projects.

A portion of the funding will be made specifically available for qualifying small business applicants under ARPA-E’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

To learn more about ARPA-E’s FLECCS program, click HERE and to apply for funding, visit ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

HT/Willie Soon

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90 thoughts on “Department of Energy Announces $43 Million to Develop Carbon Capture and Storage Technology

  1. re: “The FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program seeks to develop technologies that address difficulties in decarbonization of electricity systems”

    One word in reply: Nuclear*.
    .
    .

    * For the interim.

      • I think emissions, rather, make that contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere from the use of Hydrocarbon based fuels will meet that need or requirement. I’m assuming that some are correct when they state that the CO2 level in the atmosphere is not yet at an optimal level for plant life.

        I don’t expect / would not expect total “de-carbonization” of the electrical supply system to occur in any case. A good mix of CCGT (nat gas fired turbine engines) provide for fast load pick-up in the way of peaker and auxiliary generation.

        • No, he’s referring to aguaculture, take the co2 and use it for ag. It’s been done with great results.

          Or, grow your own rainforest — nat gas input, fuel cell, co2 and heat output.

          New neighborhoods need them?

      • Correct, Scissor. I assume you meant “trees”.

        They do have the wonderful advantage of usually being self-maintaining and, better still, self-propagating. That means continuous automatic exponential growth of the carbon (CO2) capture apparatus. This is something far beyond the capabilities of anything humans have yet devised.

    • ‘decarbonization of electricity systems’? It is very annoying when all that carbon pours out of my electrical outlets…

      • Lol

        “to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that enable power generators to be responsive to grid conditions in a high variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment.”

        At first I thought about a triple x rating – not for younger viewers.

        I’ll have to look up VRE.

        The post is rich in acronyms.

        • “to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that enable power generators to be responsive to grid conditions in a high variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment.”

          What this means is that grids that have solar and wind are not reliable so they need good ole gas tirbines and disel generators equiped with carbon cature nonsrnse.

    • As I read it they’re looking for something that can quickly take up the slack when solar/wind sources drop off the grid. I don’t think Nuclear can be brought on line quickly like that. Here’s an interesting question however, which I don’t know the answer to: How much nuclear would it take to replace all of the wind and solar being generated today?

      • re: “As I read it they’re looking for something that can quickly take up the slack when solar/wind sources drop off the grid. I don’t think Nuclear can be brought on line quickly like that.”

        Hence, my mention of peakers. Does the term ‘peaker’ hold any meaning for you? Did you read, consider that entire post?

        (I can lead a ‘horse’ to water, but he may still not be able to think on his own.)

      • Western-style pressurized water reactors are inherently unsuited to rapid changes in power level over short periods of time, due to the buildup of the fission product xenon 135. This isotope has a thermal neutron capture cross section 450,000 times larger than the corresponding fission cross section of U-235. When a reactor is running at full power, this becomes part of its neutron economy, reaching an equilibrium level consistent with steady state operation. Rapidly lowering the reactor power level causes an immediate buildup of Xe 135, and makes a ramp-up impossible for several hours (Xe-135 has a half-life of 9 hours, so it goes away quickly – but not quickly enough to do an immediate restart). Xe-135 was one of the major causal factors in the Chernobyl accident.

        This is one reason so many people are interested in liquid fluoride molten salt reactors. The 1960s Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated a number of technologies, including continuous removal of xenon and krypton waste gases from the circulating liquid fuel. This was important for the MSRE, since it was started as an engineering testbed for a nuclear aircraft propulsion system.

    • You are correct. Sadly the severe resistance to nuclear plus the years required to design
      , permit, construct and commission a nuclear plant means it will probably not happen.

    • I’ll see your nuclear (LFTR is my fav) and raise you “trees” like Mr Watts used to do! Think of what they could do if combined together! Now think about trees that grow food. What a concept.

      We are geniuses I tell ya. Geniuses! Where do we get our grant money? We are worth it.

    • Molten Salts Reactors powered by thorium…..abundant cheap electricity lessens the power of oil countries like Russia , Iran, and Saudi Arabia……no CO2 even though more CO2 would be a good thing.

  2. China digs the hole and others pay for tests to kick dust into it, slowly, very slowly.

    Call it Carbon Shovel Ready Stimulus 2.

    • The bad news is, $43 million is being thrown away. The good news is that, in Government funding terms, $43 million will result in 2 or 3 studies and position papers, nothing more. It really would be a lot cleaner to just pay off the people who are getting this graft, if we have to, and not force them to put out some makework nonsense word salad to “justify” it.

      • Agree, that’s barely enough to pay for a few computer geeks to write models & pay for run-time on a supercomputer. And the team of academics/bureaucrats to parameterize the results support the proper meme just like climate models.

    • Never thought I would say this, but $43 million is a pittance when trying to de CO2 a flue gas stream. Even if you have magic CO2-removing pixie dust, the vessel needed to contact it with enormous masses of flue gas in a large modern coal station would cost $200 to $400 million by itself. I worked on a proposal once for a less than 100 MW CO2 capture and storage unit that was estimated to cost nearly $500 million. I laugh at this puny $43 million. We need to pump you up!

    • No, not your tax money Sunny, my tax money here in the US. Your tax money is going toward even more irrational purposes over in the UK, sorry to say.

      Prepare yourself for freezing in the dark when power fails during the depths of winter and there’s little wind nor sun for your unreliables.

      Here the plan is to make us choose to freeze in the dark because we can’t afford the cost of power unless we’re among the elite. But hey, at least there will be power on the grid after we waste 40% of the fuel foolishly capturing the CO2 and pumping it into the ground, so that it can’t dangerously increase agricultural output.

        • So looking at the cost of electric power, in order to produce the same amount of useful power to supply the grid they would need to increase the total power output to about 1.8 times to run the CCS. Before we even look at the cost of building and maintaining the CCS plant the cost of power is already 1.8 times the present cost.

          • Yep, probably even more than that I reckon.

            The question is, does it make sense to burn this cash (less than Mayor Doomberg plans to spend trying to buy the Demoncrat nomination) if it might blunt the drive toward human extinction that the Climate Catastrophists are hell-bent on pursuing? Until the world comes back to its senses maybe it’s politically not viable for the Republicans to have no plan to deal with CO2 emissions?

            If this is that “plan”, it’s cheap enough, provided the research proceeds at no faster a pace than 10x faster than fusion power. (At that rate it might be perfected in about six centuries, give or take a millennium).

    • Depends Republican or democrate crooked spirt or a protectiouse one. Neither way survives . Its where eternally.

  3. Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $43 million in funding to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies

    Why? What good reason is there for government to be wasting money on this? If there’s a real need for this technology, the free market will work it out all on it’s own, without government funding.

    • In many cases, like candidates for hire, a contractor, institute, university, etc. has already been chosen for this money. The DOE is just going through the motions to make it appear like there is a legitimate process in place.

      It happens all the time in hiring and in some cases, the chosen job candidate even gets to write the position requirements or in some other way is involved in tailoring those. Still the government hiring organization goes through the motions of placing ads and interviewing other “candidates” even though they have no chance.

      • none of what you just said answers the questions “Why? What good reason is there for government to be wasting money on this? “

        • I don’t have that answer. I’m not of the opinion that much of what the government does has good reason behind it, though intentions may be good, and whether something has a good reason behind it is usually subjective. More often than not, those in control do things which expand their own power. Political payoffs are a fact of life and perhaps some good results.

        • I think oil companies will get the money for developing improved systems to inject CO2 into the ground to improve oil production.

          They have already done studies and already do the injection, but this makes people think Rick Perry and the DOE are concerned with Global Warming, which he and it rightly are not. Good scam on Climate Change fanatics and the general public. I am surprised the crew here fell for it as a Warmist policy.

          Trump and his secretaries are playing chess while the rest are playing tic-tac-toe, it has just taken a couple of years for him to get the right people into place in many departments.

  4. If not Nuclear – the obvious answer- then sell the captured CO2 for use with Sodastream where it can be released in a fun way. Oh and please stop lying about CO2 – it is not a pollutant, except when some politicians exhale it.

  5. Add “plant some fracking trees” to nuclear. There, send Jim and myself each half of the $43 million. Thanks.

  6. Hey, it’s only taxpayer money, so we are entitled to entertain any crackpot idea we like. Taking cupidity and stupidity to the next level.

  7. A sad part of this is that Republicans such as Crenshaw favor carbon capture. A waste of money and energy.

    • If used for enhanced oil recovery, it may actually make economic sense according to our esteemed Mr. Middleton, but just pumping it into the ground to sequester it is stupidity.

      It would not be the least bit surprising that coal interests would prefer to be able to continue selling coal — even if it is absurdly wasted — when the alternative is bankruptcy. It would be their customers forced to waste the fuel value, not the mine owners. In the great tradition of crony capitalism, the process is to get the government to pay for the research and probably later to subsidize it on the argument that we need to save coal mining jobs. Meanwhile the end state is consumers pay dearly, and the mine owners may even enjoy greater demand at higher prices.

      If CO2 was in some way truly a danger, there would be logic to all that. Sadly, only a new little ice age has any prospect of turning the tide on the popular delusion.

  8. The fools buying into this are wasting other people’s money. How long before activist gov’t makes it mandatory every energy producer go into debt and waste a sizeable portion of their production for no climate gain?

    That’s $43M that could’ve been used on something useful. What a complete waste of time and money. Doesn’t the government have enough sense to stop wasting money on such boondoggles? I’ll bet the CCS electrical load as a % of output is so high they won’t publish it. How much will it add to the energy price?

    CO2 isn’t dangerous and there is no need to spend time and money regulating it. CO2 is a climate response, not a driver.

    They can get the same result [nothing] more efficiently by just burning $43M in small bills.

    • As cited above, the parasitic losses are over 40%, so to get the same KW-hr of electricity, you need at least 67% more coal. Then, and I know this part is inscrutable to the green millennials, there’s the additional capital investment that needs to be amortized over the life of the investment. Even if the government runs the plant and takes no profit, they still need to divide the cost of building the plant and the maintenance costs of maintaining it, by the number of KW-hrs that will be produced over the lifetime of the facility, and add that to the cost of the fuel. Hint—that’s why solar power and wind power are NOT free.

      The cost of electricity has to be at least double the cost of burning coal cleanly without the foolish CCS gear.

  9. Instead of having the government do anything, if you must do something, offer a prize of $43 million to the first private company to produce cost-effective CCS tech. I guarantee it would be more successful than gummint wurk. Government spending has the reverse Midas touch. Not gold but schist.

    • According to Sid, his company has already perfected such a technology. All he needs is a bunch of suckers to invest so that they can commercialize it.

  10. Possibly another government funded DOE research rat hole?
    Yuka Mountain, Slagging Pyrolysis Incinerator for transuranic wastes, Coated glass marble nuclear waste forms, in situ vitrification, etc. etc. etc.
    A lot of research with limited return.

  11. Hungry children, heart disease, cancer etc. and we are pissing away $43m on this? Here is proof positive that there is a deep state with their heads up their anal orifice.

  12. Wow, another Craptastic idea from the US Gooberment. Woo-hoo! Yay! Go, Gooberment!
    You can always tell when Goobermint is getting ready to pull the wool, by all the fancy acronyms and bafflegab they use.

  13. This is the most insane waste of money. Simply plant a tree. There is no evidence that increasing CO2 does anything other than green the planet. This world is facing real challenges and has real problems. We don’t need to be making up make-believe problems, we have real problems that demand real problems.

    • Corrupution of energy designs destroys better ones to enrich older inferior high polluting means to boil just water. 100 year old Betz limits phyics demonstrates by it assumption all windmills will and are the same regardless . Proof is my Lonien windmiils that work both horizontaly and vertically and no wind energy passess between closed blades .

    • “we have real problems that demand real problems”

      Lol, I know you meant “real solutions” on the end, but that’s just funny.

  14. make a corbon capture device with explosive power. hide the research in a DOE funding. hand it to DOD control while DOE “gives” it out to enemies. trigger the explosion.

  15. Christopher Monckton said, “Have the courage to do nothing.”

    Putting up alternatives; planting trees, offering prizes, reducing CO2 (Nuclear), capture & distribute – don’t confront the promoters of the “Climate Crisis” head on.

    President Trump needs to understand that CO2 is not a problem. His policies and 2020 campaign need to reflect that.

    • The greenies should not get away with calling CO2 pollution. It is plant food and increased CO2 is greening the planet. That’s good for the environment and for humanity. link

  16. Put the money into water vapor capture and storage! It is much easier from an engineering point of view. And it makes perfect sense if you believe the water vapor feedback claims by which the minor and harmless static greenhouse warming effect of carbon dioxide is amplified in the models. But if, like me, you don’t believe those claims are valid, then you already know there is no good reason to capture and store carbon dioxide unless for direct use like enhancing oil field recovery.

    • Good Mother Earth just took a lot of H2O out of the atmosphere and dumped white stuff over half of North America (I just made up that “half” part). Just west of Spokane, WA the interstate highway took a fast hit and 35 crashes involving 127 vehicles happened in minutes. Then, with all that H2O removed from the local atmosphere our temperature this morning was 10°F [ -12°C].
      So, if you are going to take water vapor out, do it over your own locality, not mine.
      Thanks.
      – – winking smiley face – – Poe’s Law

      • JFH, to your point, I was impressed by the extremely low precipitable water values as the western U.S. experienced record-breaking cold at the end of October. Some might say it was dry because it was cold. Maybe it got really cold because it was so dry. There is an ample, renewable supply of very dry air right above our heads, and it does not promise to stay there.

        This link is to an image of the 10-30-19 precipitable water values derived from weather balloon data.

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/f3tv9y58k0fq3fr/precip_wtr_conus_103019.jpg?dl=0

  17. The ingenious process to save the Planet while increasing the economic growth rate and creating millions of green jobs :

    1) CO2 Capture and Storage
    2) CO2 packaging and transport by supertankers, planes and trucks all over the Planet
    3) CO2 spread through wherever it enhances vegetation growth all over the World (rainforests, woods, parks, gardens, farms, etc.).

    Must be included in the GND, NOW !

  18. Amazing how the Precautionary Principle takes a hike when “saving the planet” is on the stocks. Deep storage of high volumes of concentrated CO2 is leaving a time bomb for future generations. Think of the children.

  19. Give me the $43 million. I’ll spend $40 million on planting existing technology… tree seedlings, and will accomplish more than what their research will.

  20. On the scale of things government at most it is chump change. And a portion for SBIR, might be interesting to read those proposals. I used to occasionally generate SBIR topics for very specific optical technology development. Sometimes you’d see some crazy ideas.

    SBIR is a waste IMO. Most of the money goes to “SBIR Mills”, business that crank a bunch of useless efforts as a sideline. For some gov folks it was a way to fill in the time sheet as you would get a small fraction of the award to administer the awards. If you were at all careful your topic would be funded for a couple phase one (50K + 50K) efforts. Maybe one out 15 proposals were worthwhile, so you’d get one worthwhile and one marginal effort. Going on to phase two was relatively rare for my efforts as I wasn’t very gullible, and I didn’t need the work.

    But then there are you SBIR “artists”. I know a couple people that ginned up programs of record out of humble SBIR efforts. Not really the purpose of the SBIR programs, but they saw the path.

  21. Here in the UK, it’s night time so no solar and wind is providing less than 3% of the demand, and could drop to zero!
    Nuclear is only providing 16%. Gas, coal, biomass and connectors providing the rest.

  22. CO2 content does not control atmospheric temperature. See http://www.oprj.net for analyses of 20 million radiosondes that indicate the hypothesis is false. Human emissions do not control atmospheric content( Harde 2017, 2019, Berry 2019). Carbon capture is a waste of time , money and energy. How can this simple truth be given wider exposure?

  23. What in our names is the purpose of carbon capture? Stop global warming?
    It is complete emptiness in the interests of us all.
    For a start we have global cooling, a natural cycle.

    This is a scam of the highest order to procure money for useless research.

    Can our genuine scientists stamp on this wasrelful direction of resources, recognising the we have ,probably the most ignorant people posing as politicians around the world , who represent anyone but the us and facts.
    I know this wonderful site publishes conentious statements, but reality must allow for “exaggeration and deliberate misinformation” to follow by anyone, but corroborated by WUWT
    Sorry if this without your remit Mr Watts.

    It could help drive more fuel like to understand the truth.

  24. Why does the Department of Energy,a federal agency, even exist?
    Now I expect some ambitious businessman will sell the concept of massive domes,full of greenhouses to “capture” that naughty CO2.
    Why we could make the desert bloom.
    Whatever happened to oversight of government spending?

    • “Why does the Department of Energy,a federal agency, even exist?”

      For the same reason we have an EPA and an “endangerment finding,” because Congress fails to exercise it’s Constitutional authority, happy to cede it’s responsibilities to the Executive Branch and the Courts, and to accept the increasingly partisan, activist regulators that work in the Federal Bureaucracy . Republicans need to speak out against the drift towards anti-freedom, anti-liberty, un-American values contrary to the values of our founding.

  25. The “Capture” part gets all the money and attention because it is technology driven and is happening at the power generation plant. where the emissions occur. But the Sequester part is too often ignored. Sequester though is more difficult problem than capture. To have an impact on emissions, many gigatons of liquid or high pressure CO2 would need to be placed deep underground every year, year after year so that it securely remains there for many millennia with essentially zero probability of release.

  26. Another $43 million wasted in obeisance to the climate change religion. We are supposed to have separation of church and state.

  27. SaskPower (electrical utility in Saskatchewan, Canada) spent 1.4 Billion upgrading one coal generation plant with Carbon Capture. the end result is that the plant now only delivers 75% of the power for “consumption outside the power plant” than it did before (any increase in the power output from the plant upgrade went to perform the carbon capture but it still was not enough so we lost out on usable power) The CC does work, it just does not have the efficiency or payback that they had initially expected. It also resulted in a 5% increase in customer charges (the amount needed to pay off the costs for debt servicing)

  28. There is an outfit that is developing a fuel cell that burns CO2 for fuel. Haven’t heard much on them lately. But that’s the sort of teck that should be being developed.

    • You can’t burn CO2, it is already burned, and contains no more recoverable chemical energy. Luckily, plants convert it through the miracle of photosynthesis into two of the essential ingredients for life: oxygen and food.

    • Yes, the primary reason why we need so much energy to move around is the gravitational constant. It’s much too high. We should develop a device to lower it.
      {/s just in case}

  29. CO2 is good for the planet. If it warms us (very doubtful), then hooray! because Warmer Is Better. Please return our money and sequester the government in deep mine shafts.

  30. For 43 million dollars we will acquire a plot of land, figure out the best tree species to plant based on carbon capture, longevity, and upkeep requirements. Within a year we will have our pilot carbon capture plant up and running. Without any further development the pilot plant should be capturing and storing carbon for at least 100 years. For the longest time storage we will have to turn the carbon in wood to diamonds. We will include a task to figure out how to do that. Another task will be to investigate natural ways of turning CO2 into carbonate rock as has been taking place for eons. I already have many years of experience on my own property of turning CO2 into wood by the growing of trees. I have a large wood pile to show the results.

  31. $43E6 is peanuts compared with the trillions the DOE has wasted since Carter started the mess.
    Carter, as you might recall, graduated from the US Naval Academy with a specialty in Nuclear Energy.
    The LENR nuts are finally making energy from transmutations in small, self-organizing plasmas, and hope to have proof by the end of January, 2020. If true, how long to practical devices? I’d say 3 *small” to 5 “worthwhile.’
    How long to take a nibble at petroleum usage? I’d say 7 “small,” and in 10-12 years it could start exploding. If the deep state doesn’t step in and ban or secretize if for war purposes.
    Is this real? I think so say a B.S ChE

    • The most important thing is to take the first step, then surely there will be a second step and so on. In today’s situation, only technology can provide the solution, as the other methods do not work.

  32. Just another boondoggle a waste of money, make those who are causing the problem the unreliables pay for this not the taxpayers.

  33. The eternal quest for the fountain of youth, the search for unicorns and the sales of perpetual motion machines are as eternal as the universe itself.

  34. The FY2020 budget request for the US Department of Energy (DOE) is $31.7 billion.

    Let’s see: $43 million/$31.7 billion = .0014 = 0.14%. That sounds about right for the amount of funding this technology deserves right now.

    We can up it a whole order of magnitude when there is a preponderance of scientific evidence that atmospheric CO2 concentration significantly affects Earth’s climate.

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