By Channel 4 News, Updated on 25 November 2009
It is an advance that could make cleaner coal more affordable.
The technology, known as carbon capture and storage, has been tested at Scottish Power's Longannet coal-fired plant in Fife, which is the third-largest coal-powered power station in Europe, pumping out 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. …
Until now, the process to separate carbon dioxide needed so much energy it would use a third of the power station's output to operate at full scale.
The new process diverts emissions from a chimney into a test unit where they are fed through a chemical solution which includes molecules called amines. …
Scientists say they have now found a chemical mix for the amine that is sticky enough to grab the carbon dioxide but does not need a large amount of energy to extract it.
That makes the whole process more viable commercially.