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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pilot project captures 90% of CO2

From a news release issued by We Energies:

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- We Energies, Alstom and The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today that a pilot project testing an advanced chilled ammonia process has demonstrated more than 90 percent capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue stream of at a coal-fueled power plant in Wisconsin.

At a press conference at We Energies' Pleasant Prairie Power Plant, which hosted the project, We Energies Chairman, President and CEO Gale Klappa, Alstom U.S. President Pierre Gauthier, and EPRI Senior Vice President Hank Courtright discussed the demonstration of Alstom's patented chilled ammonia process for carbon capture. Testing at the pilot facility, using a 1.7-megawatt (electric) slipstream from the plant, began in early 2008 and will conclude later this year.

The project confirmed the predicted performance of the chilled ammonia carbon capture system at an operating power plant. It achieved key research metrics around hours of operation, ammonia release, CO2 removal levels, and CO2 purity. In doing so, the project demonstrated the fundamental viability of the carbon capture technology in real-world conditions such as changes in temperature and humidity, the inevitable starts and stops of a large power plant, and the environmental hurdles that go along with using any chemical process.

"One of the biggest challenges facing our industry is the development of cost effective technology that will allow us to capture carbon from the operation of power plants around the world," said Klappa. "Today, with the success we're reporting from the research here at Pleasant Prairie, the solution is one step closer to reality."

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