UND Institute for Energy Studies receives project to evaluate CO2 capture technology


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


The University of North Dakota Institute for Energy Studies (IES) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to receive an award of $2,952,000 to evaluate a carbon dioxide capture technology. Project partners are providing additional cost share of $738,000 for a total of $3,690,000. The project will scale up and demonstrate a novel hybrid solid sorbent technology for CO2 capture and separation from flue gas derived from coal-fired power plants.

Initial data for carbon dioxide capture technology was obtained through a US DOE Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funded program that involved Envergex LLC and IES researchers. The technology, “Capture from Existing Coal Fired Plants by Hybrid Sorption (CACHYSTM )," employs a unique combination of sorbents and process conditions to increase speed of reactions and dramatically reduce energy consumption as compared to prior art. This project will enable migration of the concept to the next scale (pilot) and eventually to full-scale demonstration and commercialization.

“The CACHYSTM technology shows significant advantages over competing methods being investigated for CO2 capture. We were able to obtain fast CO2 capture and can regenerate the sorbent with 80% less energy,” said Steve Benson, IES Director and Principal Investigator for the project. “The technology has application for all existing coal fired plants, new plants, and natural gas fired plants.”

IES pursues new frontiers in energy education, research and outreach that enables the development of the next generation of integrated energy technologies that are economically competitive, reliable, sustainable, and politically and environmentally acceptable. “This funded project will provide the groundwork to develop the Institute for Energy Studies into a self-supporting first-rate organization,” said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the UND School of Engineering and Mines.

Currently, coal-fired boilers generate about 50 percent of the electricity in the United States and are projected to play a key role in producing power in the future. A large fraction of the CO2 emissions come from fossil fuel fired electricity generating facilities and are a target for future regulations. “Developing concepts and advanced technologies for CO2 capture is an important component in UND’s education and research portfolio,” said Mike Mann, Associate Dean for Research, UND School of Engineering and Mines.

The project will develop key information for the CACHYS process: sorbent performance, energy for sorbent regeneration, physical properties of the sorbent, the integration of process components, sizing of equipment, and overall capital and operational cost of the integrated CACHYS system. The UND Steam plant will play a role in the project by providing a continuous stream of flue gas for longer term testing of the commercial feasibility of the process. The project is aimed at meeting DOE’s goals for is the development of advanced CO2 capture and separation technologies that can achieve at least 90 percent removal that results in a less than 35 percent cost of electricity.