Coal goes green

In an important step towards a greener global future, Australia and China have signed a formal international agreement for clean coal research in Beijing.

The agreement, between CSIRO and China’s Thermal Power Research Institute (TPRI), will see TPRI install, commission and operate a post combustion capture pilot plant at the Huaneng Beijing Co-Generation Power Plant as part of CSIRO’s research program.

Post combustion capture (PCC) is a process that uses a liquid to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power station flue gases and is a key technology that can potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing and future coal-fired power stations by more than 85 per cent.

The pilot plant is designed to capture 3,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 from the power station and begins a process in which the technology will be adapted to evaluate its effectiveness in the Chinese environment.

CSIRO’s involvement in this PCC project has been made possible through funding from the Australian government. The Australian government is supporting this work through a $A12m grant, $A4m of which supports this work in China.

‘Our Chinese partners are aiming for the Beijing pilot plant to be up and running before August this year,’ said CSIRO’s Dr John Wright.