BrightLoop™ Chemical Looping

Innovative Hydrogen, Steam or Syngas Production with CO2 Capture

BrightLoop™ Chemical Looping Technology

As the world advocates for decarbonization, B&W is responding by looking for innovative ways to contribute to the energy transition and a cleaner tomorrow. Our BrightLoop™ technology, a result of continued and long-standing collaboration between our researchers and our university partner, can be used for a wide range of applications.

The process enables carbon dioxide (CO2) capture for storage/sequestration or beneficial use while producing desirable outputs such as hydrogen, steam and/or syngas.

 

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BrightLoop Chemical Looping Advantages

Flexibility

This base technology features a wide range of usable feedstock, product outputs and applications.

In situ CO2 capture

The design enables CO2 isolation of up to 95% or higher. There is no need for post-combustion scrubbing. This significantly reduces both capital expenses and operating costs to achieve a low carbon footprint.

Product purity

Proprietary moving bed design allows for high product purity.

 

Scalability

The BrightLoop process is scalable to accommodate both large and small applications.

Emissions control

A concentrated exhaust stream results in more efficient and less expensive control equipment.

Economical operation

Simple operation and lower overall costs.

Applications with Various Product Outputs

Applications
B&W's flexible BrightLoop technology accommodates a wide range of usable feedstock, product outputs and applications. It can convert a wide range of fuels, including natural gas, coal, petroleum coke (petcoke), methane, biomass, biogas, and other industrial process off-gases and materials, into multiple products. The BrightLoop system is highly scalable with benefits which can be applied to a wide array of industrial processes to produce hydrogen, synthesis gas (syngas), and steam for power, process and heating.

Inherent in the design is the ability to isolate CO2 allowing for its sequestration or beneficial use. There is no need for post-combustion CO2 scrubbing, thus, significantly reducing both capital and operating costs.

Process
In the BrightLoop process, the fuel reacts with oxygen-carrier particles in a reducer reactor (fuel reactor), forming combustion byproducts, predominantly CO2 and H2O, while reducing the oxygen-carrier particles. The reduced oxygen-carrier particles then move to a partial oxidizer (hydrogen reactor) where they react with steam to partially oxidize the particles and generate a stream of hydrogen.

The oxygen-carrier particles are then transported to a combustor reactor (air reactor) where they are regenerated with air back to their original state. The exothermic oxidation reaction of the oxygen-carrier particles with air releases heat that both reheats the particles for their return to the reducer reactor and heats the air which can be used to heat water and produce steam for power generation or as a heat source for various other processes.

The process can be optimized to produce hydrogen, steam or both products by adjusting the conversion in the partial oxidizer reactor (System A). If hydrogen is not needed, the oxidizer can be removed (System B).
Systems C and D below show similar configurations for the generation of syngas for hydrogen, liquid fuel or methanol production, all with CO2 isolation.

BrightLoop Applications with Various Product Outputs

Comparisons of Typical Scenarios with BrightLoop Technology in a Low-Carbon Environment

Example Scenarios
The three examples below illustrate some of the advantages of B&W's BrightLoop technology, comparing typical current configurations with configurations using BrightLoop technology. Each example includes carbon capture/isolation in a low-carbon environment.

Hydrogen Production This scenario illustrates hydrogen production using the steam methane reforming process, and includes a boiler for steam production, a water shift reactor, and pressure swing adsorption, along with CO2 capture and boiler NOx control. The unsold or unutilized petcoke stream from oil cracking and refining process is shown as a waste product that is commonly landfilled. BrightLoop technology can use waste petcoke as the feedstock to produce hydrogen while inherently isolating CO2 without the need for separate carbon capture equipment.

Oil & Gas In this scenario, adding post-combustion carbon capture onto an existing boiler means a significant capital outlay and significant ongoing operating costs. Replacing the boiler with BrightLoop technology provides a concentrated CO2 stream, steam for process, and the capability to use the waste stream, in this case petcoke, back into BrightLoop, lowering both fuel and waste disposal costs.

Waste- or Biomass-to-Energy Similar to the oil & gas example, this scenario shows that including post-combustion carbon capture onto a waste- or biomass-to-energy installation, as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx) control, adds considerable capital and operating expenses. Utilizing BrightLoop technology for steam generation isolates the CO2 while producing zero NOx emissions.

Technology Status

BrightLoop Chemical Looping Energy Production Babcock Wilcox

Under a DOE-sponsored project, B&W built a 250 kWt coal-based FDCL pilot facility to demonstrate the reducer and combustor operation for application to steam and power generation. On another project, our university partner demonstrated continuous hydrogen generation from the partial oxidizer at their 250 kWt pilot unit constructed and tested at the National Carbon Capture Center.

B&W concluded that given the success of the 250 kWt pilot units for application to hydrogen and steam for power generation, we are ready to demonstrate the technology at a larger scale. B&W is proposing a project to demonstrate steam and hydrogen production and to be rated at a thermal input of between 2.5 and 25 MWt while utilizing the most applicable fuel feedstock.