Illinois clean coal projects goes ahead with $ 1 billion funding

FutureGen is a public-private partnership formed to build a first-of-its-kind power plant that captures and permanently stores carbon dioxide underground.

Funded with FutureGen are Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcox and Air Liquide Process & Construction Inc.

The partner recipients will repower Ameren’s 200-megawatt coal plant unit in Meredosia, Illinois with advanced oxy-combustion technology.

Oxy-combustion burns coal with a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide instead of air to produce a concentrated carbon dioxide stream for permanent storage.

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The plant’s new boiler, air separation unit, carbon dioxide purification and compression unit will deliver 90 percent carbon dioxide capture and eliminate most sulfur oxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and particulate emissions, thus creating a near-zero emissions plant.

The project partners, working with the state of Illinois, will establish a regional carbon dioxide storage site in Mattoon, Illinois and a carbon dioxide pipeline network from Meredosia to Mattoon that will transport and store more than 1 million tons of captured carbon dioxide per year.

The pipeline network, along with the repository in Mattoon, will help lay the foundation for a regional carbon dioxide network.

The projects will be used to provide developers with data for future large-scale commercial projects.

«This investment in the world’s first, commercial-scale, oxy-combustion power plant will help to open up the over $300 billion market for coal unit repowering and position the country as a leader in an important part of the global clean energy economy,» said energy secretary Steven Chu.

Studies of the department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory have identified oxy-combustion as potentially the least costly approach to clean up existing coal-fired facilities and capture carbon dioxide for geologic storage.



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