Akermin reports initial success with cheaper CO2 capture technology

Akermin Inc. said Aug. 5 that its field pilot plant has achieved a significant milestone by completing over 1,600 hours of operation, capturing CO2 from the flue gas exhaust of a coal-fired power plant.

Since Akermin, based in St. Louis, initiated operation of the pilot plant with its Biocatalyst Delivery System in May of this year, the unit has consistently captured over 80% of the CO2 from the flue gas exhaust, the company noted. During this period, it has operated with no biocatalyst replenishment while demonstrating significant rate enhancement. Gas sampling confirms that Akermin’s technology can produce CO2 of very high purity and suggests that no additional equipment will be required to control emissions, the company said.

“We are thrilled with the impressive results of our pilot testing,” said Alex Zaks, VP of Research and CTO at Akermin. “The 1,600 hours of operation without any degradation in performance clearly demonstrates the ability of the biocatalyst to operate for extended durations without the need for replacement. This brings Akermin one step closer to commercial introduction.”

Akermin said it is currently developing and testing a next generation approach that uses an environmentally-friendly solvent and proprietary process scheme with on-line biocatalyst replenishment. This approach has the potential to reduce the avoided cost of capture by as much as 40% versus the solutions that have recently been evaluated for commercial-scale demonstration on coal-fired power plants throughout North America and Europe, it added. This reduction could make the capture of anthropogenic CO2 more economically attractive for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Akermin is also looking to commercialize the technology to treat industrial gas streams for biogas upgrading, LNG liquefaction and ammonia production. This will position the company to progressively scale-up the technology to provide a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution to capture CO2 from large industrial plants and fossil-fired power plants.

The company didn’t say in the Aug. 5 statement where this testing is being done. It has previously said that it has a pilot plant at the National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Ala. The testing of this unit is the final stage of a three-year project, partially funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Akermin is a cleantech technology development company located in BRDG Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.