Sept. 9, 2002 — ALSTOM has announced its participation in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project to develop and test new ways to capture, store and use carbon dioxide (CO2) gases produced by coal-based power plants.
ALSTOM will develop and test an approach to “carbon capture and sequestration,” a promising class of technologies that remove greenhouse gases from the exhausts of power plants and sequester them. As one of only eight projects selected in 2001 from 62 proposals submitted to the DOE, ALSTOM will test a new way to produce and capture concentrated CO2 by firing coal in oxygen (rather than air) in advanced boiler designs.
In addition, ALSTOM will evaluate ways to use the captured CO2 as a saleable by-product. Options include enhanced oil and/or natural gas recovery, in which CO2 is injected underground to recover existing fuel reserves, with much of the CO2 remaining stored in the reservoir. ALSTOM is currently exploring potential enhanced oil recovery applications.
The first phase of the project – which includes small-scale testing in addition to new power plant design, performance and economic analyses – is currently underway at ALSTOM’s Power Plant Laboratories, located in Windsor, Connecticut, USA. If successful, a second phase will begin in 2003 and include a pilot plant test of an advanced boiler concept design, performance and economic analyses. ALSTOM is leading this project, which also includes Parsons Energy & Chemical Group, Inc., Praxair, Inc., ABB Lummus Global, Inc., and Plasma Energy.
The U.S. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, which will oversee the research, has set a goal of developing sequestration approaches that cost $10 or less per ton of carbon – equivalent to adding only 0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to the average cost of electricity. Currently, only a limited number of sequestration options are available and are not cost-effective.
“If these new sequestration approaches prove to be technically and economically feasible, they could play a substantial role in limiting greenhouse gas emissions from fossil power plants,” said John Marion, ALSTOM’s manager of Contract R&D for Power Plant Laboratories.
Funding for the $916,208 programme is partially provided by a U.S. Department of Energy grant under Instrument Number DE-FC26-01NT41146. ALSTOM is committed to developing CO2 sequestration technology for fossil fuel based power generation and is providing significant co-funding for the project.
ALSTOM is the global specialist in energy and transport infrastructure. The Company serves the energy market through its activities in the fields of power generation and power transmission and distribution, and the transport market through its activities in rail and marine. In fiscal year 2001/02, ALSTOM had annual sales in excess of à¢â€š¬23 billion and employed more than 118,000 people in over 70 countries. ALSTOM is listed on the Paris, London and New York stock exchanges. For information: www.power.alstom.com.