A cornerstone of the clean energy future.
NET Power has developed a novel power system that produces electricity from natural gas. NET Power plants are cost competitive with current technologies but generate zero atmospheric emissions – eliminating the smokestack altogether. This system is based on a new thermodynamic cycle called the Allam Cycle.
The Allam Cycle is a breakthrough in power generation technology. It uses a high-pressure, highly recuperative, oxyfuel, supercritical CO2 cycle that makes emission capture a part of the core power generation process, rather than an afterthought. The result is high-efficiency power generation that inherently produces a pipeline-quality CO2 byproduct at no additional cost to the system’s performance.
Existing Thermal Power Cycles
The majority of power plants today – including combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) and supercritical coal plants – rely on thermal power cycles for energy production. These systems operate by burning fossil fuel (natural gas, coal, or coal “syngas”) using the oxygen in air to create heat. In traditional coal plants, this takes place in a large boiler, where coal is burned and water is boiled to create high pressure steam. This high pressure steam then expands through a steam turbine, creating power. In CCGT power plants, natural gas or coal syngas is burned in a combustor with compressed air. The heated gases then expand and drive a gas turbine. The turbine exhaust is extremely hot, so it is then used to boil water to create high pressure steam and drive a steam turbine (hence the name “combined cycle”). In both systems, steam (i.e. water) is essential to the process as a working fluid.
A power system’s efficiency is key to its economic competitiveness. NET Power natural gas plants with full carbon capture are directly competitive with best-in-class natural gas combined cycle plants that do not capture any carbon emissions.
NET Power produces a high-pressure, high-quality CO2 byproduct that is pipeline-ready. This CO2 can be sequestered or used in industrial processes, such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which is a decades-old process that uses CO2 to extract significantly more oil from mature oilfields while permanently storing CO2 underground. In the United States alone, 85 billion barrels of oil are recoverable using EOR. Most industrial CO2 capture technologies cannot produce cost-effective, EOR-ready CO2, despite the fact that the industry is tremendously CO2-starved. NET Power will have both the capacity and economics to enable the EOR industry to unlock this vast resource while simultaneously sequestering CO2 from thousands of power plants below ground.