Taiwan: ITRI to receive award for its HECLOT carbon capture technology

Taiwan: ITRI to receive award for its HECLOT carbon capture technology
Published: 23 October 2014

Taiwan-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has introduced High Efficiency Calcium Looping Technology (HECLOT), a calcium looping technology developed to reduce carbon emissions from fossil power plants. HECLOT claims to be the first affordable and energy-efficient CO2 capture solution, capable of achieving a capture rate of up to 90 per cent. ITRI will receive a 2014 R&D 100 Award in November for this breakthrough in the “Environmental Technologies” category.

The technology reduces energy consumption using a cycling of calcination and carbonation method used to capture CO2, which ultimately enables coal-fired power generation to become clean electricity. HECLOT can achieve an initial capture cost lower than US$30/t of CO2 in a fossil fuel power plant, half the cost of current capture technolger US$58/t of CO2.

Cement production accounts for five per cent of global CO2 emissions and is the second-most consumed substance on earth after water. In June 2013, ITRI signed a patent licensing and technology transfer agreement with Taiwan Cement Co Ltd to build the world's largest calcium looping pilot plant where 1t of carbon will be captured per hour.

“Carbon capture has been around for a while but has never taken off due to its high costs. ITRI’s HECLOT has solved Taiwan Cement’s and the cement industry’s CO2 emissions problem and has reduced the carbon capture cost substantially,” said Lesley Koo, chairman, board of directors and supervisor at Taiwan Cement Corporation.
HECLOT captures CO2 in the combustion fume coming out of power plant boilers. It uses calcium from limestone (CaCO3) as the carbon capture medium. Calcium is looped between two chemical reactions involving CaO and CaCO3 to capture and release CO2. In the capture, or carbonation reaction, calcium in CaO captures CO2 and becomes CaCO3. In the second reaction, the so-called calcination reaction, CaCO3 is reduced back to CaO, and CO2 absorbed in the first reaction is released at high purity in the second reaction. By looping between these two reactions, CO2 can be collected and then stored.

In the future, HECLOT will be made available for licensing to cement manufacturers and fossil-fuel power plants worldwide.