Is it possible to have Clean Coal Power Plants that reclaim or capture CO2 be for it is let out into the atmosphere?
Loy Yang mine Victorya south east Australia Ecopolis states is the biggest Coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere its power station eats 65 thousand tons of brown coal a day. Releasing the same amount of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) as 60 million cars.
Ecopolis episode Powering the Future
Video is courtesy of Science Channel Ecopolis
Dr Paul Feron Science leader CSIRO-CEO “has recently joined the Division of Energy Technology to lead CSIRO's post combustion capture (PCC) research program.”
Dr. Feron is currently working on a pilot project to capture the CO2 after the coal has been burned in the power plant be for it is released out into the air from its flue gases..
The flue gases pass through a solvent nonoethanolamine (MEA), an amine solvent.
“In the solvent scrubbing process, the cooled flue gas is brought into contact with the solvent in the absorber at temperatures typically between 40°C and 60°C, CO2 is bound by the chemical solvent in the absorber. The flue gas is then water washed to balance water in the system and to remove any solvent droplets or solvent vapour carried over, and then it leaves the absorber. It is possible to reduce CO2 concentration in the exit gas down to very low values, as a result of the chemical reaction in the solvent, but lower exit concentrations tend to increase the height of the absorption vessel. The ‘rich’ solvent, which contains the chemically bound CO2 is then pumped to the top of a stripper (or regeneration vessel), via a heat exchanger. The regeneration of the chemical solvent is carried out in the stripper at elevated temperatures (100–140°C) and pressures not very much higher than atmospheric pressure. Heat is supplied to the reboiler to maintain the regeneration conditions. This leads to a thermal energy penalty as a result of heating up the solvent, providing the required desorption heat for removing the chemically bound CO2 and for steam production which acts as a stripping gas. Steam is recovered in the condenser and fed back to the stripper, whereas the CO2 product gas leaves the stripper. The ‘lean’ solvent, containing far less CO2 is then pumped back to the absorber via the lean-rich heat exchanger and a cooler to bring it down to the absorber temperature level.”
This whole process utilizes a lot of energy, which requires the plant to consume more coal to power that so this could be counter productive.
Dr Paul Feron is working on making his solvent mix the most efficient extracting 90% of CO2 from the flue gas with out the large over head of power.
Feron's system is capable of being attached to existing power plants with out the major modification that current PCC systems require.
One step closer to a bit of clean coal power plant technology!