EPRI investigates carbon capture

The Electric Power Research Institute has joined forces with American Electric Power and Alstom to conduct evaluations of carbon capture and storage technologies at a coal-fired power plant.


The US independent, non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has joined forces with American Electric Power (AEP) and Alstom to conduct independent evaluations of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies at AEP’s Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, West Virginia.


The project will be the first to both capture CO2 from a pulverised coal-fired power plant and inject it into a permanent storage site more than 7,800ft underground.


To do so, a 20MW CO2 capture system has been installed at AEP’s 1,300MW Mountaineer Plant, where it will remove approximately 100,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually from the flue gas stream of the plant. The captured CO2 will then be compressed and injected into two saline reservoirs located beneath the plant site.


The Mountaineer project will operate for up to five years and help validate the effectiveness of Alstom’s patented chilled ammonia process for carbon dioxide capture and the viability of CO2 storage in the local area.


The project will also provide information necessary to scale up capture and storage technologies for new power plants and to retrofit existing facilities.


The chilled ammonia process may reduce parasitic loads on electric generators compared to other types of capture processes, resulting in lower carbon dioxide capture costs. A pilot-scale version tested by Alstom and EPRI has already produced favourable results at We Energies Pleasant Prairie plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin.