Saturday, October 10, 2009

90 percent of Coal Plant CO2 Captured in 12-Month Test


Written by Susan Kraemer
Published on October 9th, 2009

One year ago the French company Alstrom began a year-long US test of capturing CO2 from the water+carbon-dioxide mix created using their chilled-ammonia technology, in the smokestack of the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Wisconsin.

This week the year’s results were announced. The years average CO2 capture rate was 90%, according to a joint announcement from the EPRI, We Energies and Alstrom to the Society of Environmental Journalists.

The 12-month test was just completed after running 24 hours a day on a small sectioned-off portion of the smokestack; working on just 5% of the plants total emissions.

But the test is scalable, and the Electric Power Research Institute, the R&D arm of the utility industry, is optimistic that chilled-ammonia technology will work on a larger scale. It is one of several carbon-capture technologies under consideration as we move to a carbon constrained world.

Next, Alstom will work with AEP in Columbus, Ohio to test a scaled-up version of the technology at the Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia.  That test takes the next step as well; not just capturing the carbon dioxide but burying it 8,000 feet beneath the plant site.

Alstom’s chilled ammonia process results in a lower energy cost for capturing CO2 than other techniques under consideration so far. Initial studies currently estimate the average energy penalty at around 20-25% of net boiler output. Alstrom is also working on a technique for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from a gas plant.

90 percent of Coal Plant CO2 Captured in 12-Month Test

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