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Alstom Claims Successful Demonstration of Carbon Capture Project

Alstom Power today released preliminary data on a carbon capture demonstration project being conducted at the We Energies facility in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute.

Alstom officials said that the Pleasant Prairie demonstration project has operated on a 24/7 basis for over 4600 hours, captured 88-90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, and achieved 99-plus percent purity levels. (Higher purity levels allow the CO2 produced to be used in the widest possible range of ways.)

The data was first reported last week during an industry Conference that was co-sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy. Speaking at the conference, Alstom’s Amy Ericson said, “The preliminary results from the We Energies demonstration project and other projects we’re undertaking are encouraging. Alstom looks forward to continuing to work with our various partners to move this technology to a commercial scale as quickly as possible.”

In all, Alstom has a total of four demonstration projects operating or being built and six additional projects scheduled in the three major technologies it is pursuing: chilled ammonia, advanced amines, and oxy-combustion. The projects are taking place in seven countries, reinforcing Alstom’s standing as a global company committed to developing technology solutions that can be used around the world.

The data on the Pleasant Prairie project was released as part of a presentation made by officials of American Electric Power on a new carbon capture demonstration project that will be brought on line later this year at AEP’s Mountaineer power plant in New Haven, West Virginia. The AEP Mountaineer project is the second in a three-phase process for validating and optimizing Alstom’s chilled ammonia technology before it is made commercially available in 2015. Mountaineer will be the first integrated demonstration project that burns coal, cleans the flue gas, captures the CO2, compresses it, and sequesters the CO2 at more than 8,000 feet underground.

During the CCS Conference, Alstom’s Frank Kluger said a demonstration project at the Schwarze Pumpe facility in Germany to validate Alstom’s oxy-combustion technology was also successful. While additional work is planned to further optimize the technology, Kluger said the entire oxy-combustion process worked well and that the CO2 captured was 99-plus percent pure. Alstom officials also gave a presentation on “chemical looping combustion,” an advanced oxy-combustion technology that has the longer-term potential to offer a breakthrough in terms of cost and performance benefits.

Work is also continuing on the advance amine technology. Last month, Alstom and The Dow Chemical Company announced a new advanced amine CO2 capture pilot plant in West Virginia.

Ericson said, "All three of Alstom’s technologies for capturing carbon are being optimized at increasing capacities in demonstration projects around the world. Each has a niche that can serve the needs of particular customers in Europe, the U.S., India, China, and other markets worldwide.”

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