FuelCell Energy’s efficient, affordable solution for carbon capture utilizes Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) technology to capture carbon emissions from existing coal or gas-fired power plants, destroys approximately 70% of the plant’s smog-producing pollutants and produces additional power in an environmentally friendly manner.
In a typical Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) application, clean natural gas is combined with ambient air for the fuel cell power generation process. However, for the carbon capture fuel cell solution, the exhaust flue gas of a coal or gas-fired power plant is directed to the air intake of the fuel cell plant, fully or partially replacing the use of ambient air.
The DFC stack acts as a carbon purification membrane, transferring CO2 from the air stream (where it is very dilute) to the fuel exhaust stream, where it is more concentrated, allowing the CO2 to be easily and affordably removed for sequestration or industrial use.
Benefits of DFC’s carbon capture include:
The ability to capture 90% of carbon emissions with a scalable solution
Fuel cell plants can be added incrementally in a cost effective manner. For example, capturing six percent of carbon emissions, consistent with early steps suggested in EPA rule 111 (d), doesn’t significantly change the cost of power for rate payers while decreasing pollutants and increasing power output
Producing, rather than consuming, additional power cleanly and efficiently through fuel cell power generation
Conventional carbon capture technologies for coal-fired power plants nearly double the cost of power, without any significant destruction of pollutants, and consume about 20% of overall power output of the coal plant.
Eliminating approximately 70% of the smog-producing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the fossil fuel power plant exhaust via the electro-chemical reaction within the fuel cells
Utilizing a fuel cell solution to capture 90% of carbon emissions results in a 78% reduction in NOx emissions, increases power output by 80% and only increases costs by about one third; improving air quality and capturing carbon for less than the Department of Energy’s target of $40/ton.
Since DFC power plants produce power efficiently and with virtually zero emissions, the net result is a compelling carbon capture solution for preventing the release of green-house gases by coal or gas-fired power plants while simultaneously increasing overall net efficiency and clean power output in an affordable way.