Energy Dept. Grants Seek to Advance Clean-Coal Technology
Washington - The Energy Department on July 26 announced eight projects to advance the development of "transformational" technologies capable of high-efficiency, low-cost carbon dioxide capture from coal-fired power plants.
The Energy Department's $7 million investment - combined with recipient contributions to support approximately $9.4 million in total projects -- will support the development and deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) by focusing on further improving the efficiency and reducing the costs associated with carbon capture.
The department said a "promising near-term technology," oxy-combustion, will be applied at facilities using pulverized coal-fired boilers for power or industrial applications and will support CCUS efforts and result in ultra-low emissions. The oxy-combustion process replaces the air used for combustion with a mixture of oxygen and recycled plant emissions, or "flue gas," and/or water for temperature control. The remainder of the flue gas that is not recirculated is rich in carbon dioxide and water vapor - and is easily separated - producing a stream of carbon dioxide ready for utilization or sequestration.
"Advancing the development of clean coal technologies is an important part of President Obama's strategy to develop every source of American energy," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "These projects will build on the important progress made by this administration in promoting innovative technologies that help make coal-fired energy cleaner and more cost-competitive."
The Energy Department is leveraging its cutting-edge research to show that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology not only can help industry make fossil energy use cleaner, safer and more sustainable, but it also shows promise as a method to extract more, hard-to-access and currently untapped American fossil energy resources like oil and natural gas. By utilizing the captured carbon emissions to recover added oil and natural gas resources, CCUS provides an additional strong business and market case for companies or organizations looking to pursue the environmental benefits of CCS.
The selections announced July 26 are part of a two-phase effort to evaluate and develop advanced oxy-combustion projects that yield cost-competitive options for CCUS. These projects will aim to achieve at least 90 percent carbon dioxide removal while delivering carbon dioxide at a capture cost of less than $25 per ton. The Phase 1 projects will focus on an engineering and economic analysis of the technologies while identifying the Phase 2 research and development needs to bring the technology closer to commercialization. The selection of Phase 2 projects will occur in 2013 based on Phase 1 results.
The selected projects, each lasting one year, will be managed by the Energy Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The list of projects ( http://www.doe.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-awards-projects-advancing-innovative-clean-coal-technology ) is available on the Department of Energy website.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)