New CO2 Capture Technology Advances | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 37 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 15, 2008

New CO2 Capture Technology Advances

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Climate Change
News Channels: Environmental SCENE

"Oxy-combustion," a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, was used for the first time last week at an operating electric utility demonstration project in Germany. The pilot plant was launched by Alstom, a French construction and engineering firm. Oxy-combustion is one of a handful of technologies being explored to determine if they can efficiently and economically capture CO2 emissions from coal-fired electric power plants. Oxy-combustion burns coal in a pure oxygen environment, creating an exhaust stream of relatively pure CO2, which Alstom says can enhance the gas's capture, pressurization, and injection underground. The German pilot plant is a 30-MW demonstration facility built next to the existing 1,600-MW Schwarze Pumpe plant, operated by Vattenfall, a Swedish power company. Alstom is involved in several other CCS demonstrations, including one in Wisconsin at WE Energies, which uses chilled ammonia to capture CO2 after coal is burned (C&EN, March 3, page 7). Because coal generates half of the U.S.'s electricity and more than one-third of CO2 emissions, power plant owners and technology developers have much at stake in trials of such technologies.

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