Burning waste-coal refuse

A new $215 million joint-venture between the US Department of Energy and Western Greenbrier Co-Generation is to develop a new low-emissions power plant that will use waste-coal to generate electric power.

A new $215 million joint-venture between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Western Greenbrier Co-Generation is to develop a new low-emissions power plant that will use waste-coal to generate electric power.

Construction of the Western Greenbrier power plant in West Virginia, which will use atmospheric-pressure circulating fluidised-bed combustion, is expected to begin in early 2006. Western Greenbrier will team with Parsons Corporation, Alstom Power and Hazen Research to build the demonstration facility, which will co-produce electricity, steam, and structural brick.

Using a novel Alstom inverted-cyclone separator for the capture and recirculation of solids, the design has the potential to reduce boiler construction time by up to 10% and the boiler footprint by up to 40%. It should also reduce construction costs compared to existing circulating fluidised-bed systems.

When operational, the power plant will produce 85 to 90 MW of electricity, up to 30,000 pounds of steam per hour, and about 400 million Btu per hour of low-temperature waste heat.

The Greenbrier project will consume nearby waste-coal refuse, effectively reducing nearly 400 million tons located in several hundred sites in Southern West Virginia in the US.

The refuse carries an estimated cleanup cost of $2 billion to $3 billion, which US State Department of Environmental Protection officials have characterised as West Virginia’s premier environmental hazard.