Though it certainly has a number of technical kinks to work out, and there are overarching political and ecological questions which must be addressed, carbon capture and storage (or sequestration, depending on how you want to translate the 'S' in the CSS acronym) is the ace in the hole which an increasing number of people hope will allow society to keep burning coal without emitting tons and tons of carbon emissions every year.
In an effort to further test and demonstrate the technology a new CCS pilot project will begin operation tomorrow, September 9, in Germany at the Schwarze Pumpe power plant. The developer of the pilot project, Swedish-firm Vattenfall, is calling it an "important milestone" on the road to developing a future demonstration-scale CCS project by 2015. Here are the details:Carbon Dioxide to be Stored in Depleted Natural Gas Field
It's cost nearly $100 million over the past two and a half years to build the 30 MW Schwarze Pumpe plant, which will operate for three years in an initial testing program. The facility is expected to produce 9 tonnes of CO2 per hour which will be compressed and sent to a depleted natural gas field in northern Germany.
Vattenfall described how the project will work:
Lignite and hard coal will be combusted in a mixture of oxygen and re-circulated CO2, which also contains water vapour. The flue gas will then be treated and sulphuroxides, particles and other contaminants removed. Finally, the water will be condensed and the concentrated CO2 compressed into liquid.
:: Vattenfall and :: Greentech Media
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