Flexible FlueCO2

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Roanke, Virginia
Project Term:
01/15/2021 - 05/31/2022

Critical Need:

Power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can reduce the cost of net-zero carbon systems, but the addition of variable renewable energy (VRE) sources like wind and solar can make them difficult to design and operate while limiting their commercial potential. Increased cyclic operation of electricity generators could also reduce capacity factor and efficiency, increase operations and maintenance costs, and potentially increase CO2 emissions. Improving CCS processes and designs could enable a low-cost, net-zero carbon electricity system.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Luna Innovations is developing FlueCO2, a process that enables traditional power generators to respond to increased VRE while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. FlueCO2 is a combined membrane and gas processing technology that integrates into existing natural gas combined cycle power plants and actively removes CO2 from the exhaust gas. The membrane separates CO2 at unrivaled rates using steam generated within the plant. The CO2-rich steam leaving the membranes is processed further to remove the water so it can be regenerated into steam at the most energy efficient conditions. Remaining CO2 is then compressed for pipeline transport. FlueCO2 requires lower capital investment and reduces operating costs compared to conventional CCS technologies. The FlueCO2 membranes and process are currently being scaled for baseload plants (100% output) and estimates of the energy and economic costs will be generated to support continued technology investment.

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. Enabling deep turndown of natural-gas fired plants at times of high VRE output will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 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:
Jesse Kelly
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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