Carbon capture steps closer

CARBON capture technology has moved closer to commercialisation, with two projects selected by the United States Department of Energy to demonstrate oxycombustion in existing coal-fired power plants.
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Angie Tomlinson

The projects, valued at nearly $US10 million, are expected to help expedite commercialisation of oxycombustion technology through slip stream or pilot plant testing.

In an oxycombustion-based power plant, oxygen rather than air is used to combust a fuel, resulting in a highly pure carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaust that can be captured at relatively low cost and sequestered.

There are no commercial oxygen combustion power plants in operation, due mainly to the high cost of producing oxygen.

Significant reduction in the cost of oxygen compared to today’s best cryogenic technology is a key requirement to making the oxycombustion power plant a viable option.

The Department of Energy said the two selected projects show promise for reducing those costs when compared to existing CO2 capture systems.

Babcock and Wilcox and the BOC Group will undertake the projects.

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