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Focus on Coal 


Coal-fired technologies back in the spotlight


Overcoming the environmental and technical challenges of electricity from coal is a major challenge. Sean Ottewell looks at new technologies that could help.


El mayor desafío es superar los retos técnicos y medioambientales de la electricidad originada por carbón. Sean Ottewell investiga sobre nuevas tecnologías que puedan ayudar.


Die Überwindung umweltbezogener und technischer Probleme bei der Nutzung von Energie aus Kohle ist schwer. Sean Ottewell untersucht neue Technologien, die dabei helfen könnten.


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ew technologies aimed at burning both high-grade and low-grade coal to generate electricity are now capable of competing with natural gas as a fuel. In the US,


for example, FutureGen 2.0, a US$1.68 billion (€1.21 billion) clean coal project jointly sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and a group of international energy- sector companies, has won a favourable record of decision (ROD) from the DOE. Tis means that the department is now in a position to provide about US$1 billion (€720 million) of financial assistance through cooperative agreements with the FutureGen Alliance, which includes Alpha Natural Resources, Anglo American, Joy Global, Peabody Energy and Xstrata Coal.


FutureGen 2.0 is a first-of-its-kind, near- zero emissions coal-fuelled power plant. In cooperation with the DOE, the FutureGen 2.0 project partners will upgrade a power plant in Meredosia, Illinois, with oxy-combustion technology to capture approximately 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide each year – more than 90 per cent of the plant’s carbon emissions.


Integrated carbon capture In a statement, Ken Humphreys, chief executive officer of the FutureGen Alliance, said: “Te US Department of Energy’s approval of a favourable ROD advances the project another step forward. Issuance of the ROD is an important milestone and a boost to demonstrating fully integrated carbon capture


Fig. 1. The Lünen steam power plant is said to be the cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power plant in Europe.


54 www.engineerlive.com


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