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DOE moves FutureGen 2.0 CCS project forward into second phase

5 February 2013

Following the successful completion of the first phase, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the beginning of Phase II of the FutureGen 2.0 project development with a new cooperative agreement between the FutureGen Industrial Alliance and DOE for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Illinois.

The Department of Energy is committed to the demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies. We believe FutureGen 2.0 is an important step in making economic, commercial scale CCS a reality. The project is important part of a portfolio of approaches we are pursuing to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants and perhaps other large, localized CO2 emitters.

— US Energy Secretary Steven Chu

In cooperation with the FutureGen project partners, the Department of Energy is investing in the upgrade of a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill. with oxy-combustion technology to capture more than 1 million tons of CO2 each year—more than 90% of the plant’s carbon emissions. Other emissions will also be reduced to near-zero levels.

Instead of capturing CO2 in the presence of a large amount of nitrogen, the oxy-combustion approach extracts the oxygen from air before combustion, greatly reducing the cost of carbon capture at the exhaust stack. This project will test oxygen separation technology and exhaust processing technology after combustion at power plant scales.

Using proven pipeline technology, the CO2 will then be safely transported and securely stored underground at a nearby storage site. This groundbreaking project will help pave the way for other cleaner and more sustainable advanced coal-burning power plants.

The completion of the FutureGen 2.0 project’s first phase included technical and financial milestones such as the identification of a sequestration site in Morgan County, preliminary characterization and test drilling, and a commitment from the Illinois Commerce Committee to cover the FutureGen 2.0 project’s output under its power purchasing plans.

The new cooperative agreement with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance will build on these to begin preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering for the retrofitted, near-zero emission coal-fired power plant.

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