Energy | Ecotrope

A cheaper way to clean up coal plant emissions

Ecotrope | Aug. 25, 2011 7:38 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:35 p.m.

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A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is going to help the research organization Battelle study a new, cheaper carbon capture method for coal-fired power plants.

A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is going to help the research organization Battelle study a new, cheaper carbon capture method for coal-fired power plants.

Speaking of retrofitting coal plants, the Pacific Northwest National Lab operator Battelle just got a $2 million grant to study a cheaper way to remove carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. PNNL has developed a new carbon capture process that uses organic liquids to pull carbon dioxide out of power plant flue gas.

Carbon capture technology already exists, but this process works at a much lower temperature than the one coal-fired plants use now. Scientists estimate it could save more than 50 percent of the costs of current methods, which rely on an energy-intensive heating and cooling process.

“A key distinction of PSAR is that the process makes efficient use of heat from the power plant rather than using valuable steam, to operate the carbon dioxide capture process, saving power producers energy and money,” said David Heldebrant, Battelle senior research scientist. “This not only improves the efficiency of the overall process but also simplifies the use of this process as a retrofit to an existing pulverized coal power plant.”

The DOE grant will fund a three-year project where Battelle scientists, together with the Fluor Corporation and Queens University,¬†will examine how well the process works .

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