'Clean Coal' Gets $2.4 Billion Boost from Department of Energy

stop coal stencil photo
Guess they didn't get this message... photo: takomabibelot via flickr.

The Department of Energy has been busy doling out funds from the Stimulus package lately, and now it's clean coal & carbon capture and storage's turn: $2.4 billion in support has just been announced. In doing so, Secretary of Energy Chu said that "to prevent the worst of climate change, we must accelerate our efforts to capture and store carbon in a safe and cost-effective way." Here's where all that money will be going:Clean Coal Power Initiative

$800 million will be used to expand DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative, which provides government co-financing for new coal technologies that can help utilities cut sulfur, nitrogen and mercury pollutants from power plants. The new funding will allow researchers broader CCS commercial-scale experience by expanding the range of technologies, applications, fuels, and geologic formations that are tested.

Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage
$1.52 billion will be used for a two-part competitive solicitation for large-scale CCS from industrial sources.  The industrial sources include, but are not limited to, cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, steel and aluminum plants, manufacturing facilities, and petroleum coke-fired and other power plants.  The second part of the solicitation will include innovative concepts for beneficial CO2 reuse (CO2 mineralization, algae production, etc.) and CO2 capture from the atmosphere. In addition, two existing industrial and innovative reuse projects, previously selected via competitive solicitations, will be expanded to accelerate scale-up and field testing:
Ramgen Modification ($20 million): funding will allow the industrial-sized scale-up and testing of an existing advanced CO2 compression project with the objective of reducing time to commercialization, technology risk, and cost. Work on this project will be done in Bellevue, WA.
Arizona Public Services Modification ($70.6 million): funding will permit the existing algae-based carbon mitigation project to expand testing with a coal-based gasification system. The goal is to produce fuels from domestic resources while reducing atmospheric CO2 emissions.  The overall process will minimize production of carbon dioxide in the gasification process to produce a substitute natural gas (SNG) from coal. The host facility for this project is the Cholla Power Plant located in Holbrook, AZ.

Geologic Sequestration Site Characterization
$50 million will fund a competitive solicitation to characterize a minimum of 10 geologic formations throughout the United States.  Projects will be required to complement and build upon the existing characterization base created by DOE’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, looking at broadening the range and extent of geologic basins that have been studied to date. The goal of this effort is to accelerate the determination of potential geologic storage sites.

Geologic Sequestration Training and Research
$20 million will be used to educate and train a future generation of geologists, scientists, and engineers with skills and competencies in geology, geophysics, geomechanics, geochemistry and reservoir engineering disciplines needed to staff a broad national CCS program. This program will emphasize advancing educational opportunities across a broad range of minority colleges and universities and will use DOE’s University Coal Research Program as the model for implementing the program.

More: Department of Energy

I'll just direct readers to the TreeHugger archives on why we think there's no such thing as clean coal, and why carbon capture and storage can't be relied upon to allow us to keep using even a small percentage of the amount of fossil fuels we continue to burn:

Clean Coal
The Clean Coal Wars Heat Up - Who Will Win?
Clean Coal Carolers From an Industry Run by Morons
There Is NO Such Thing as Clean Coal
Dirty Clean Coal Lobby Gave $240,000 to Obama Presidential Campaign
Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon Capture and Storage Will Happen - Here's Why We Should Support ItLiability Insurance Bailouts Needed for Carbon Capture and Sequestration Industry?
Carbon Capture and Storage "Oversold as Panacea" by Tar Sands Industry
Carbon Capture Makes Renewables Look Better, Suggests Swedish Study

Tags: Carbon Sequestration | Clean Coal | Coal | Congress | United States


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