Project Studies Carbon Capture from Coal-fired Power Plants

As part of its continued commitment to bring forward environmentally responsible energy solutions, LS Power Development, LLC announced today that it is providing funding and has become the Strategic Partner for the "LS Power Pilot Plant Initiative" under the University of Texas at Austin's (UT) existing carbon capture research program.

The goal of the research program is to advance scientific knowledge of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology so it can be demonstrated on a commercial scale at existing coal-fired power plants. Coal is the most abundant fuel in the United States supplying about half of the country's electricity requirements.

"Coal-fired generation will continue to be needed to ensure a reliable and affordable electricity supply in America. The University of Texas research program aligns with our corporate initiative to invest in areas that provide environmentally sound and economical energy solutions," said Paul Thessen, Executive Vice President of LS Power. "We're pleased to participate in the funding of the research and testing of some of the most promising carbon capture technologies under development."

About the Program

During the study, UT scientists will build on their expertise in CO2 capture and sequestration technologies. The research program, known as the Industrial Associates Program for CO2 Capture by Aqueous Absorption, will focus on addressing obstacles that hinder the deployment of these technologies, while integrating the CO2 capture processes with geologic storage and/or enhanced oil recovery processes. This research effort will provide a technical basis for demonstration of CO2 capture on a commercial scale at an existing coal-fueled power plant burning low-sulfur western coal. Additionally, the LS Power Pilot Initiative will advance research on the use of solar heat for solvent regeneration.

The research program is a continuation of a previously sponsored project by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The program identified process improvements for aqueous absorption technology resulting in reduced energy consumption when compared to a conventional CO2 scrubbing process.

The five-year investigation completed by UT researchers, under the management of DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory, resulted in the development of an alternative solvent process to capture CO2 while reducing costs and demands on our nation's energy supply. It also made available a new pilot plant, which can be used to further develop innovative process improvements.

With LS Power's participation, funding of more than $1 million per year is now available to the UT programs for CO2 capture research. Other industry participants include Luminant, Alstom Power, AspenTech, Babcock & Wilcox, Battelle, BP, Cansolv, Chevron, CSIRO, E.ON UK, Huntsman Chemical, IFP, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, RWEnPower, Shell Global Solutions, Siemens, Southern Company, and URS.

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