Natural Gas/Direct Air Capture Hybrid Plant

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Project Term:
11/19/2020 - 09/30/2022

Technology Description:

The University of Pittsburgh’s team will develop a hybrid plant model consisting of a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant coupled with membrane and sorbent carbon capture systems. During peak hours, the NGCC plant produces power, and the two sequential carbon capture systems capture roughly 99% of the CO2 produced by the combustion of natural gas. During off-peak hours, the NGCC plant powers the two carbon capture systems to capture the CO2 from the air, as well as capturing all the CO2 produced by the plant. The team will optimize the hybrid model to minimize cost and study how the carbon capture systems perform during transitions. It is expected that the hybrid plant's negative emissions technology will capture more CO2 than the plant produces, be flexible to changes in the electric grid.

Potential Impact:

Improvements in the design and processes of CCS-equipped plants in high VRE environments could dramatically reduce the cost of a net-zero carbon system. Benefits include:


Flexible CCS systems can enable the continued use of low-cost domestic fuel for electricity generation and increase the reliability of a deeply decarbonized electricity system.


Flexible CCS systems can achieve high CO2 capture rates from flue gas. For example, a power generator could be enabled to shift the times it exports electricity to the grid, allowing the power generator and CCS plant to operate under steady-state conditions and with reduced emissions.


Flexible CCS systems can reduce the cost of a net-zero carbon electricity system by providing dispatchable power to a high-VRE grid.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jack Lewnard
Project Contact:
Dr. Katherine Hornbostel
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Toledo
West Virginia University Research Corporation

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