According to Alstom, this is a major step in demonstrating post-combustion carbon capture. The technology is said to have an advantage over other technologies because it is fully applicable to new power plants and can be retrofitted into existing coal-fired power plants.
The project will be implemented in two phases. In phase one, Alstom and AEP will jointly develop a 30MWth product validation plant that will capture CO2 from flue gas emitted from AEP’s 1300MW Mountaineer Plant located in New Haven, West Virginia. It is targeted to capture up to 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The captured CO2 will be designated for geological storage in deep saline aquifers at the site. This pilot is scheduled for start-up at the end of 2008 and will operate for approximately 12 to 18 months.
In phase two, Alstom will design, construct and commission a 200MW commercial scale CO2 capture system on one of the 450MW coal-fired units at its Northeastern Station in Oologah, Oklahoma. The system is scheduled for start-up in late 2011. It is expected to capture about 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The CO2 captured at Northeastern Station will be used for enhanced oil recovery.
Alstom’s post-combustion process uses chilled ammonia to capture CO2. This process reduces the energy required to capture carbon dioxide and isolates it in a highly concentrated, high-pressure form. In laboratory testing sponsored by EPRI and others, Alstom’s process has demonstrated the potential to capture over 90% of CO2 at a cost that is far less expensive than other carbon capture technologies. The isolated CO2, once captured, can be used commercially or stored in suitable underground geological sites.