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Environment

CO2 Capture Effort Progresses

by Jeff Johnson
May 13, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 19

The Department of Energy will support the FutureGen carbon capture and storage facility in Meredosia, Ill. In a draft environmental impact statement, DOE recommends spending $1 billion in cost-shared funding to modify a 168-MW coal-fired electric generation plant to use advanced combustion technology to capture CO2. If completed, the modified facility will capture, compress, and transport some 90%, or 1 million metric tons, of the plant’s yearly CO2 emissions. CO2 would be injected at a geological storage site 30 miles away. First announced in 2003, this project has had difficulty finding investors willing to match DOE’s funding. Although FutureGen would be the world’s largest carbon capture facility, it would only incrementally reduce U.S. CO2 emissions. For comparison, coal-fired plants in 2012 released some 1.6 billion metric tons of CO2.

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