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Caterpillar to Join FutureGen Alliance

Caterpillar Inc. intends to join the FutureGen Alliance, a public-private partnership established to build a first-of-its-kind coal-fired, near-zero emissions power plant in Mattoon, Illinois.

The FutureGen facility is designed to be the cleanest coal burning plant in the world and will integrate advanced technologies for coal gasification, electricity production, emissions control, carbon dioxide capture and permanent storage and hydrogen production on a commercial scale.

The FutureGen plant is a 275-megawatt integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant. It will be capable of powering about 150,000 homes. The United States Department of Energy will provide more than $1 billion in funding to the project.

With 2009 sales and revenues of $32.396 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.


Stan Peterson

IGCC plants are the very cleanest of fossil generation. Even cleaner than natural gas combined cycle, NGCC plants. As they possess the ability to clean the syngas they burn before burning it. If you add useless CO2 sequestration, they are virtually pollution free. The issue is at what price can they generate electricity.

But with Wind and Solar being 3 to 5 times more expensive than a coal plant, there is lots of room to run sequestration and still produce electricity cheaper and much more reliably than the pet 'renewables' of the green Druids

Henry Gibson

First I will remind people that Humans have alway been radioactive and always eat radioactive food. Then I will remind them that Nuclear energy can also produce liquid fuels by recyling CO2. But prior to this they can eliminate the use of natural gas and coal for generating electricity so that they can be used for making liquid fuels. Nuclear energy can even be used in the production of ethanol in many ways instead of fossil fuels. Vapor compression distillation, long ago used for fresh water on submarines, could be used for example for ethanol extraction. ..HG..


What will big energy do if real disruptive technology is introduced? Obviating nearly everything discussed to date? Energy is ubiquitous in the universe.

Henry, I like that you stand for the non volatility of low level nuclear radiation. Have you looked into LENR? The US Navy has.

Nick Lyons

I remain skeptical about FutureGen. What percentage of CO2 will be sequestered? How secure will the sequestration be? How will be coal be procured (ever seen a strip mine?)? In other words, if you actually account for all the external costs, how does IGCC compare with the alternatives, including greatly increased energy conservation?


Another example of know it all Petersons blather. Must be able to predict the future, we are saved!

..."established to build a first-of-its-kind coal-fired, near-zero emissions power plant"


I'm with Arnold and the sour apples. No one can predict the future. There may be some unforeseen breakthrough waiting in the wings.

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