Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Coal

Montana announces coal-to-liquids plant

3 October 2006 — Montana will be home to one of the nation’s first coal-to-liquids energy plants. The $1 billion Bull Mountain Coal-to-Liquids Plant is slated to begin producing 22,000 barrels per day of diesel fuel and 300 MW of electricity in six years.

Chief developers include Arch Minerals, part of Arch Coal, and Advanced Fuels LLC. In the two-step process at the Montana plant, coal will be converted to synthetic gas, or syngas, through technology provided by General Electric. Then the syngas will be converted to liquids.

The Bull Mountain plant will inject waste carbon dioxide — a byproduct of gasifying rather than burning coal — into the ground instead of releasing the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. The stored carbon dioxide will be piped to Montana’s oilfields, where producers use it to enhance the recovery of oil.