ION Engineering wraps up pilot CO2-capture testing at Alabama facility

ION Engineering on Oct. 12 announced that it has successfully completed the first pilot scale testing of its proprietary solvent and process technology for the removal of CO2 from large point sources including natural gas- and coal-fired power plants.

The project, managed and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), entailed approximately 1,200 hours of continuous testing at the 0.6 MWe Pilot Solvent Test Unit (PSTU). The PSTU is located at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), which is owned by Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) and funded by DOE, in Wilsonville, Alabama. Throughout testing, ION captured over 99% of the incoming CO2 from the coal-fired facility’s flue gas, while maintaining stable process operation and meeting project objectives.

“We are delighted with the overwhelming success of our first pilot testing at an operating coal-fired power plant,” said Alfred (Buz) Brown, PhD, ION’s founder, CEO and Chairman. “ION was founded to dramatically improve the technology available for removal of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment and we are making tremendous progress in that endeavor. We are working to define the future of carbon capture as a cost-effective solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Under this project, ION has developed process modeling capabilities to further predict how ION’s technology will perform under different process and operating conditions. One of the most important outcomes of this testing was validation of the process model. Model validation provides ION the ability to accurately predict how their technology will perform at other facilities in the future. Pilot testing was completed in August 2015 and a full analysis and report will be completed in early 2016.

ION plans to initiate the next phase of project testing in mid 2016. ION will test its solvent and technology process at the next scale, moving from a 0.6 MWe facility to the >10 MWe scale at an existing international test facility. Testing is expected to run through the end of 2016.

ION said it is currently working with local and global partners to test its carbon capture technology with flue gas in commercial settings. Following the large scale pilot testing anticipated in 2016, the company is targeting a larger commercial demonstration project beginning in late 2017. Find more information at

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.