Two projects - an existing power plant in North Dakota and a new facility in California - have been selected for up to $408m (£255m) in funding to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
As part of the third round of the US Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI), the US Department of Energy will provide $100m of support to Basin Electric Power Cooperative and $308m to Hydrogen Energy International.
The carbon-reduction schemes will employ different technologies to capture at least 90 per cent of the CO2 emitted at the plants.
For its part, Basin Electric Power Cooperative will partner with Powerspan and Burns & McDonnell to demonstrate the removal of CO2 from the flue gas of a lignite-based boiler by adding CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) to Basin Electric's existing Antelope Valley Station, located near Beulah, North Dakota.
Powerspan's ECO2 ammonia-based technology will be used to capture CO2 on a 120MW electric-equivalent gas stream from the 450MW Antelope Valley Station Unit 1. The net result will be 90 per cent removal of CO2 from the treated flue gas, yielding 3,000 short tons per day (1,000,000 tons per year) of pipeline-quality CO2. The ammonia-based SO2 scrubbing system will also produce a liquid stream of ammonium sulphate that will be processed into a fertiliser by-product.
Hydrogen Energy International, a joint venture owned by BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto, will design, construct and operate an integrated gasification combined-cycle power plant that will take blends of coal and petroleum coke, combined with non-potable water, and convert them into hydrogen and CO2.
The CO2 will be separated from the hydrogen using a methanol-based Rectisol process. The hydrogen gas will be used to fuel a power station, and the CO2 will be transported by pipeline to nearby oil reservoirs where it will be injected for storage and used for enhanced oil recovery. The project, which will be located in Kern County, California, will capture more than 2,000,000 tons of CO2 per year.
The CCPI is a cost-shared collaboration between the US federal government and private industry to increase investment in low-emission coal technology by demonstrating advanced coal-based, power generation technologies.