Akermin has signed an agreement with Southern Company Services to install and operate a pilot plant using Akermin’s biocatalyst delivery system at the National Carbon Capture Center in Alabama, US.

The company is designing the pilot plant to demonstrate the performance of its biocatalyst delivery system working with carbonate chemistry to capture high efficiency carbon dioxide from the flue gas of a coal-fired power plant.

The biocatalyst delivery system uses an enzyme supplied by Novozymes and the plant is expected to capture more than 90% of the incoming carbon dioxide.

Akermin president & CEO Barry Blackwell said the project signifies the company’s transition from laboratory testing and development to field pilot testing and demonstration marking a key step towards commercialization of its technology.

"The results from this pilot project will help to prove the viability of our technology to capture carbon dioxide from industrial processes and accelerate development of commercial partnerships and future demonstration projects covering multiple market applications," Blackwell added.

The company is planning to operate the plant for about six months to demonstrate the biocatalyst performance in capturing carbon dioxide.

Akermin will collect data during the demonstration period to validate the system performance, including: biocatalyst performance, energy consumption, carbon dioxide removal efficiency, capture of residual SOx and NOx emissions, by-product quality for potential resale and other parameters.

The project is scheduled to be commissioned in the final quarter of 2012.

Earlier, the prototype was operated for many months to capture carbon dioxide from synthetic gas before relocating it to operate on a coal-fired boiler.