FirstEnergy and Powerspan plan to test CO2 removal technology for power plants

Sept. 28 — FirstEnergy Corp. and Powerspan Corp., a clean energy technology company, announced plans to pilot test a promising carbon-dioxide (CO2) removal technology beginning in late 2006. The pilot test is planned for FirstEnergy’s R.E. Burger Plant in Shadyside, Ohio, where Powerspan has successfully demonstrated its patented Electro-Catalytic Oxidation (ECO) multi-pollutant control technology.

The Powerspan CO2 capture process is expected to be readily integrated with the ECO technology, which uses aqueous ammonia to absorb high levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. ECO has undergone successful commercial demonstration testing at the Burger Plant.

“Based on the encouraging results of the current commercial demonstration of the ECO system at our Burger Plant, we’re pleased to participate in the next phase of ECO testing — CO2 capture,” said Guy L. Pipitone, senior vice president of operations strategy & development for FirstEnergy Solutions.

“We welcome the opportunity to continue development of our CO2 capture technology in cooperation with FirstEnergy at the R.E. Burger Plant,” said Frank Alix, chief executive officer of Powerspan. “As with our ECO multi-pollutant control technology, FirstEnergy is demonstrating its environmental vision and leadership by investing valuable resources in a technology that could provide an important bridge to a clean energy future.”

In May 2004, Powerspan and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory announced a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop a cost effective CO2 removal process for coal-based power plants. The regenerative process uses an ammonia-based solution to capture CO2 in flue gas and prepare it for subsequent sequestration; after regeneration the ammonia solution is recycled. The scope of the three-year CRADA includes laboratory testing, pilot testing and detailed studies of the CO2 capture process economics. The results of the pilot test at the Burger Plant will be used to confirm process design and cost estimates.

Powerspan has conducted initial laboratory testing of the subject CO2 absorption process, which demonstrated 90 percent CO2 removal under conditions comparable to a commercial-scale absorber. These test results confirm those previously obtained by the DOE under similar conditions. Further testing at both the DOE and Powerspan under this CRADA will be conducted to fully characterize the process capability and to optimize process efficiency.

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