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DOE to provide ~$1B in cost-shared funding to FutureGen; oxy-combustion of coal with carbon capture and storage

16 January 2014

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to provide approximately $1 billion (earlier post) of cost-shared funding to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance (the Alliance) for the FutureGen 2.0 Project. (Earlier post.) The FutureGen 2.0 Project is a public-private partnership formed for the purpose of developing the world’s first commercial-scale, coal-fueled oxy-combustion electric generation project integrated with carbon capture and geologic storage.

DOE’s decision is to implement the proposed action in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the FutureGen 2.0 Project (DOE/EIS-0460). The EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of the project.

For the FutureGen 2.0 Project, the Alliance, cooperating with Ameren Energy Resources (Ameren), will construct and operate a 168-megawatt electrical (MWe) gross output coal-fueled electric generation plant using advanced oxy-combustion technology. Oxy-combustion is the combustion of coal with a mixture of manufactured oxygen and recycled flue gas (instead of air), resulting in a gas by-product that is primarily CO2.

Combustion
Click to enlarge.

The plant will use existing infrastructure, including the existing steam turbine generator (Unit 4), at Ameren Energy Resources’ Meredosia Energy Center on the Illinois River just south of Meredosia, Illinois.

The proposed project will include facilities designed to capture at least 90% of the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere during steady-state operation, equivalent to approximately 1.2 million tons (1.1 million metric tons) of CO2 captured per year.

The captured CO2 will be compressed and transported via a new underground pipeline, approximately 30 miles long and nominally 10 to 12 inches in diameter, to a geologic storage area in eastern Morgan County, where it would be injected and stored in the Mt. Simon Formation (a saline aquifer) approximately 4,000 feet below the ground surface.

Futuregen
The FutureGen 2.0 Project. Click to enlarge.

The Alliance will upgrade one unit in a power plant currently owned by Ameren near Meredosia, Illinois. The repowered unit will include oxy-combustion and carbon capture technologies designed to capture at least 90% of its CO2 emissions during steady-state operation and reduce other emissions to near zero.

The captured CO2 will be transported through an approximately 30-mile pipeline to wells where it will be injected approximately 4,000 feet below ground into a geologic saline formation for permanent storage.

The Alliance will also construct and operate visitor, research, and training facilities related to carbon capture and storage in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Illinois.

The DOE-funded demonstration period will last for 56 months from the start of operations (approximately 2017) through 2022.

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Why should an old muture, money making, industry should get so much Tax $$$$ to do what they should have done years ago.

The Fed could have simply mandated progressive installation of those changes, funded by the industry itself?

Governments exist to promote essential laws and regulations for the safety and security of the people,e not to give $$$B in hand outs to the 3% so they get richer and richer and the 97% get poorer and poorer?

Hand outs are one of the best ways to transfer more and more wealth from the 97% to the 3% and turn a Democracy into a Moneycracy. Look at what happened to the Banking and Car industries in the last few years.

Someone else can check my math, but I have this as about$6K/kWhr, and I suppose it has to do with it being a one off demonstration, but you could install 1000MW of solar for that price. In fact, you could install less solar and add batteries and for less money you could have a solar/battery combination of 168MW with constant output.

We spent a trillion on the recent wars. What would that trillion do in installed domestic green energy production?

We're obviously insane as a group.

That's closer to $6/watt, BK4.  Cost per kWh depends on interest rates and O&M, plus fuel cost.  We must also include the greenhouse emissions of methane leakage from coal as it's mined.

Even at the FOAK costs of Vogtle 3 and 4, the cheaper price of uranium vs. coal probably makes nuclear the better deal.

The main advantage I see is that biomass burnt with CCS would result in carbon-negative energy. This could turn out to be very useful in the future when implemented at large scale.

FutureGen was promoted by Bush, then allowed to sit there until the last year when they pulled the plug. You can use carbon when you create a market for it. Use it to get more oil or to create synthetic fuels, but don't pretend that storing it will become popular.

It's been many time that i say to construct electrical power plant that burn methanol and then recycle the exhaust back to methanol for a complete loop of non-polluting low cost electrical energy.

@Gorr
Could you explain me the thermodynamics of your proposal ?

I wonder how the total system could ever deliver useful energy.
(keeping the cycle going is already spectacular given the 2nd law, or I must be missing something)

I read many time that it is possible to do methanol from co2.

Yes, but you need to add H2.

CO2 + 3H2 = CH3OH + H2O

So you need an external energy source...

Ameren is stealing this $billion and should instead be fined $millions for the past and ongoing decades of coal pollution.

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