Ohio State to get research funding boost

Columbus, OH, Nov. 9, 2005 — The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) approved $790,185 to help fund a scale-up, from laboratory to “bench scale”, of a new process aimed at capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas using a specially tailored calcium sorbent. The total project cost is $2,087,177. OAQDA’s share of the funding is in the form of a grant from its Ohio Coal Development Office.

The process is unique in that it captures CO2 from flue gas, which is produced during coal combustion, without first cooling the gas. In addition, the steam heat released by the reaction of CO2 with the sorbent is then captured and used to produce additional electricity. The process also captures sulfur dioxide, another by-product of coal combustion. Of critical importance, the process results in a considerable cost reduction for CO2 capture compared to estimated costs of alternative processes.

“This is a great example of how a novel concept takes its initial steps along the continuum that can lead to commercial success in the marketplace. The lab work conducted at OSU confirmed that the process has merit, and our funding will help it move to the small-scale demonstration stage. Further, the interest from six potential industrial partners underscores the reasonable possibility that this technology is, indeed, commercially feasible,” said Mark R. Shanahan, OAQDA executive director.

The project’s industrial partners will play a variety of roles. The sorbent will be manufactured by Specialty Minerals Inc. Airpol Inc. will provide expertise on devices that collect fine particles produced during coal combustion. Babcock & Wilcox will provide experiment design and test evaluation and has tentatively committed to hosting the pilot test. Consol Energy Inc. and American Electric Power will also assist with experiment design and test evaluation. And Cinergy has tentatively offered to host a pilot-level study at one of its units if the bench-scale test is successful.

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