Alabama Operations - Power Systems and Environmental Research

National Carbon Capture Center

Southern Research has managed the on-site chemistry and particulate laboratories at the National Carbon Capture Center (formerly the Power Systems Development Facility) since the facility began operation in 1995. Laboratory activities include the handling and analysis of all samples generated in the gasifier, hot-gas filter, and associated processes.

Chemistry Laboratory

Analyses routinely performed in the chemistry laboratory include:

  • Particle-size analysis of coal and gasification ash
  • Proximate and ultimate analysis of coal and char samples
  • Ash minerals analysis on gasification ash and coal samples
  • True density and uncompacted bulk density on gasification ash samples
  • Specific-surface area measurements on ash using the BET method
  • Water-quality measurements on the process feed water
  • SEM/EDX analysis (through Southern Research Engineering laboratory)
  • X-ray diffraction analysis (through Alabama Power Company laboratory)

Particulate Laboratory

In the facility's on-site particulate laboratory, microscopic examinations are routinely performed on the gasification ash, sampling filters, and gasifier deposits. In addition, various specialized tests are routinely performed to assess the effects of various operating conditions and additives on ash deposition in the gasifier.

Measurements of dustcake drag are also performed using a unique system developed by Southern Research. In this system, samples of gasification ash and dustcake from the hot-gas filter are resuspended in gas and collected on a sintered-metal filter while the pressure drop and flow through the cake are monitored. By also measuring the weight and thickness of the cake, it is possible to determine the normalized drag and porosity of the cake. The system is also equipped with various small cyclones to create successively smaller particle-size fractions and allow measurements of drag as a function of particle size.

Southern Research also assists Southern Company and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in on-site testing of CO2 capture processes, including the evaluation of pre-combustion CO2 capture using:

  • Aqueous ammonia
  • Amino acid salts
  • Hot potassium carbonate
  • Dimethyl ether of polyethylene glycol (DEPG)
  • Poly-dimethyl siloxane (PDMS)

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