New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

Posted by Christina Nunez
Oct 17, 2014 10:30 AM ET

The Great Energy Challenge Energy Blog

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made “clean”: Projects such as the in-progress Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the recently announced Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide from burning coal and then store it into underground storage or into previously depleted wells to extract more oil. (See related story: “Clean Coal Test: Power Plants Prepare to Capture Carbon.”)   CCS is being applied to natural gas-fired electricity as well (just today a new effort in Scotland was announced), and a new project in the U.S. aims to produce fossil power with zero emissions and greater efficiency than other facilities have been able to achieve. A group of companies, including Chicago-based energy producer Exelon and Durham, N.C.-based technology purveyor NET Power, this week announced plans for the project, a $140 million carbon-capture natural gas-fired plant in Texas.   The “first of its kind” demonstration plant is different because, instead of using steam as a component of electricity generation the way a typical plant would, it captures the carbon dioxide from natural gas combustion and uses that. The carbon dioxide that emerges from that high-pressure, oxygen-only combustion process needs no further processing to be injected underground, according to John Thompson, director of  the Fossil Transition Project for Clean Air Task Force, which monitors and promotes new clean energy technology.   Continue reading on The Great Energy Challenge Energy Blog.