2 October 2006 — ALSTOM, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and We Energies are combining forces to build a pilot plant to demonstrate a unique CO2 capture process. ALSTOM said it would be a major step in assessing new technology that could have a significant impact on lowering emissions from fossil-fuel-burning power plants.
ALSTOM will design, construct and operate a 5 MW pilot system that will capture CO2 from a portion of boiler flue gas at the We Energies power plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, US. The system, the first of its kind in the US, will incorporate the CO2 capture processes developed by ALSTOM.
The pilot is scheduled to be commissioned at the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in mid-2007 and will be operated for at least one year. EPRI will conduct an engineering/environmental performance and cost analysis during the operation.
“The development of cost-effective carbon dioxide capture technology is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the utility industry in the 21st Century,” said Rick Kuester, executive vice president of We Energies. “We are pleased to partner with ALSTOM and EPRI in the development of this innovative technology.”
The ALSTOM carbon capture process uses chilled ammonia to capture CO2. This process dramatically reduces the energy required to capture carbon dioxide and isolate it in a highly concentrated, high-pressure form. In laboratory testing sponsored by ALSTOM, EPRI, Statoil and others, the process has demonstrated the potential to capture over 90 percent of CO2 at a cost that is far less expensive than other carbon capture technologies.
The isolated CO2, once captured, can be used commercially or sequestered in suitable underground geological sites.
EPRI will conduct an extensive evaluation of the system’s performance and support the development of technological and economic analyses associated with applying the carbon-capture process on a commercial scale, primarily to larger, coal-burning power plants.