Natural Resources Canada Licensing Opportunity - Hybrid Rankine Cycle

The Licensing Opportunity

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is seeking expressions of interest from companies to lead commercialization of our Hybrid Rankine Cycle (HyRC) technology in Canada, USA and around the world. The ideal licensee will be an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) firm with experience in configuring or designing power generation plants. The HyRC may be commercialized to end-users including power generation utilities, boiler manufacturers, turbine manufacturers and utilities committed to using coal-fired or oil-fired power plants, but who are under pressure to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions.

What is the Hybrid Rankine Cycle technology?

The HyRC technology is a novel way to improve efficiency of generating electric power from fossil fuels, and therefore significantly lowering carbon dioxide emissions intensity when compared with conventional power plants using a subcritical or supercritical Steam Rankine Cycles. The main losses in fossil fuel power generation include heat in exhaust flue gas, heat rejected through steam condensation of low-pressure turbine, and exergy destruction in feedwater heat exchange process. To the extent that the heat losses are significantly higher in temperature than either air or water coolant resources, these losses also represent exergy losses which might be exploited to improve plant capacity and efficiency. The HyRC concept employs an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) to supplement steam Rankine cycle and to reduce cycle energy losses to the atmosphere since organic fluids are capable of lowering cycle condensation temperature when a low temperature heat sink is available. The HyRC technology offers two configurations: one for conventional ambient pressure combustion (APC-HyRC) as show in Fig. 1 and one for high pressure oxy-fired combustion (HiPrOx-HyRC) as show in Fig. 2.

Figure 1:  APC-HyRC Configuration

Figure 1:  APC-HyRC Configuration

Figure 2:  HiPrOx-HyRC Configuration

Figure 2: HiPrOx-HyRC Configuration


This technology can be used in 3 cases of either retrofitting or new design:

  1. To retrofit or refurbish a power plant operating with air-fired burners at atmospheric pressure;
  2. To retrofit or refurbish a power plant operating with air-fired burners at atmospheric pressure combined with CO2 capture by a post-combustion system such as amine scrubbing. In this configuration, the additional efficiency inherent in the HyRC helps compensate the efficiency loss from the CO2 capture equipment; or
  3. In new design of power plants employing NRCan’s high pressure oxy-fired (HiPrOx) combustion technology. This configuration produces a pressurized stream of CO2-rich gas, ready for CO2 transport and storage or use. In this configuration, the nitrogen gas (N2) from the air separation plant may also be used. The pressurized CO2 and N2 are both potentially suitable for use in enhanced oil or gas recovery, fracking or repressurizing oil wells.

NRCan researchers have simulated an ultra supercritical coal-fired power plant rated at  1000MW-26.3MPa/600oC/600 oC/29.6 oC with cycle efficiency of 42.0% (HHV basis throughout). Calculations show that if a low temperature heat sink is available and can lower the condensation temperature from 29.6 oC to 19 oC, the efficiency in case 1 can reach 43.2%; in case 2 with CO2 capture by a conventional amine scrubbing, the efficiency can be improved from 34.3% to 35.1%; in case 3 with CO2 capture by  HiPrOx,  the efficiency can be improved from 38.2% to 39.3%. Calculations also show that CO2 capture by HiPrOx-HyRC configuration can greatly improve efficiency, with an incremental improvement of about 4% efficiency.  

HiPrOx-HyRC configuration is the most advanced form. Both HiPrOx-HyRC and APC-HyRC configurations produce water from the combustion process that can be used to minimize the consumption of fresh water in fossil fuel power generation.

Reference Material

Information about the Hybrid Rankine Cycle technology can be found at the following link:

CA Patent Application 2885583

Expressions of Interest

NRCan invites interested companies to submit a business plan as outlined in Appendix A: Required Business Plan Format by March 2, 2018 to the contact below.


Anne Woods,
Licensing Officer
Intellectual Property Division
Natural Resources Canada

Appendix A: Business Plan Required Format

Executive Summary

Company Overview

Organizational maturity
Experience /success in the industry
Technical capability
Marketing capacity
Corporate objectives

  • Short-term objectives
  • Long-term objectives

Market, Customer, and Competition Analysis

Market opportunity, size and trends
Key customer bases
Key competitors

Production and Marketing Plan

Product description
Distribution channel(s)
Marketing and sales strategy

Financial Information

Five year cashflow forecast
Capital cost estimates
Operating budgets
Manufacturing costs
Sale price
Profit margin targets
Proposed royalty structure

Implementation and Operating Considerations

Risks and assumptions