FuelCell Energy’s SureSource Capture technology is a scalable and affordable carbon capture solution, which captures carbon emissions from existing coal or gas-fired power plants while simultaneously producing power. The solution is scalable, so the amount of carbon capture can be increased over time. The fuel cells also destroy approximately 70% of the plant’s smog-producing NOX emissions. The capability of the SureSource Capture technology to efficiently and affordably capture carbon while simultaneously producing power enables emission compliance in a manner that provides a revenue stream and returns on capital from the sale of power produced by the fuel cells.
The SureSource fuel cell is based on the carbonate fuel cell technology, where electrochemical reactions are supported by an electrolyte layer in which carbonate ions serve as the ion bridge that completes the electrical circuit. A side effect of this basic characteristic of the technology is that carbon dioxide introduced at the air electrode is transferred through the electrolyte layer to the fuel electrode, where it is more highly concentrated and easy to remove. This means that a SureSource electrochemical cell can be used as a carbon purification membrane—transferring CO2 from a dilute oxidant stream to a more concentrated fuel exhaust stream. A SureSource Capture system is a carbonate fuel cell power plant that can extract and concentrate the CO2 in the exhaust of a power plant or industrial boiler, or other source.
The benefits of SureSource Capture include:
- Scalable & Affordable – Fuel cell plants can be added incrementally in a cost-effective manner; starting with as little as 5% capture with no appreciable change in the cost of power and with minimum capital outlay. To achieve 90% capture, the cost of power for a coal-fired plant is projected to increase by only $0.02/kWh, while conventional carbon capture technologies for coal-fired power plants almost double the cost of power.
- Produces, rather than consumes, additional power – Generates additional power – cleanly and efficiently – during the carbon capture process, contributing to the existing coal plant’s total output. In comparison, conventional carbon capture technologies consumeabout 20% of the plant’s overall power output.
- Destruction of pollutants – Captures and separates CO₂ from the flue gas of coal and gas-fired power plants while simultaneously destroying approximately 70% of the smog-producing nitrogen oxide (NOx).
- Return on Investment – Generates a return on capital rather than an increase in operating expense, extends the life of existing coal-fired power plants, and enables low carbon utilization of domestic coal and gas resources.
- Proven Solution – Millions of megawatt hours of ultra-clean power have been generated by SureSource power plants globally, and SureSource Capture is an extension of that proven technology.
Since SureSource power plants produce power efficiently and with virtually zero emissions, the net result is a compelling carbon capture solution for preventing the release of greenhouse gases by coal or gas-fired power plants, while simultaneously increasing overall net efficiency and clean power output in an affordable manner for ratepayers.