Consol Energy to develop technology to reduce power plant mercury emissions

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 10, 2002 — CONSOL Energy Inc. has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to develop an innovative technology to curb mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

In the three-year project, CONSOL Energy and Allegheny Energy Supply, the generating subsidiary of Allegheny Energy, Inc., will construct and operate a pilot plant, using flue gas from a coal-fired generating station, to test technology that will remove mercury and also reduce nitrogen oxides and sulfur and carbon dioxide emissions.

The facility will be built at the Allegheny Energy Supply Mitchell Power Station in western Pennsylvania and the technology will be tested on a small portion of the flue gases from the 288-megawatt, coal-fired Unit No. 3. The team also will complete a series of long-term tests to evaluate the effect of the technology on the performance of specific power station components.

The project will cost $2.4 million, with DOE funding $1.8 million through NETL. In addition to CONSOL Energy and Allegheny Energy Supply, other participants are Alstom Power Inc., Environmental Elements Corp., and Carmeuse North America.

The CONSOL Energy technology will cool the exhaust gases and permit the mercury to adsorb on the coal fly ash. The fly ash and mercury would then be captured in the power plant’s existing particulate collection device. An alkaline material would also be injected to prevent corrosion of the power plant’s ductwork, a problem that can occur when the exhaust gases are cooled. As part of the program, CONSOL Energy will conduct additional tests on the collected fly ash.

“The technology will also remove the sulfuric acid precursor that creates visible exhaust plumes and fouls other control equipment,” said Dr. Frank Burke, CONSOL Energy’s vice president for research and development. “This technology will improve the efficiency of some power plants, thereby reducing emissions created for a given amount of electric power.”

The goal of the CONSOL Energy project is to develop a new, more economical mercury control technology to function on power plants. It is one of six projects DOE is funding in order to develop a wider array of mercury control options for power plants that can reliably reduce emissions by 50 to 70 percent by 2005, and 90 percent by 2010.

No pollution control system currently available eliminates mercury emissions uniformly across the spectrum of power plant configurations, although flue gas “scrubbers” can remove 50 to 70 percent of the mercury in many cases. Activated carbon injection, a mercury-control method used on municipal waste incinerators, may be considered the technology currently available for maximum removal of mercury, but it is very expensive to use.

CONSOL Energy Inc. is the largest producer of high-Btu bituminous coal in the United States, and the largest exporter of U.S. coal. CONSOL Energy has 27 bituminous coal mining complexes in seven states, two Canadian provinces and Australia. In addition, the company is one of the largest U.S. producers of coalbed methane and with daily production of approximately 130 million cubic feet. CONSOL Energy had revenues of $2.4 billion during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2001. It is listed among the Forbes “Platinum 400” companies and won the Platts 2001 Financial Times Global Energy Award as Coal Company of the Year. Additional information about the company can be found at its web site: http://www.consolenergy.com

Allegheny Energy, Inc. is a diversified energy company headquartered in Hagerstown, Md. It has been named to the Fortune 500 list, the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, and the Forbes “Platinum 400” list.

The Allegheny Energy family includes Allegheny Power, which delivers electric energy and natural gas to about 3 million people in parts of Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia; Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC, which develops, owns and operates electric generating facilities, and supplies and trades energy and energy-related commodities in selected domestic retail and wholesale markets; and Allegheny Ventures, which invests in and develops telecommunications and energy-related projects. For more information, visit its web site at http://www.alleghenyenergy.com


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