CO2 capture from coal power begins in Qld

By December 2nd, 2010

Low emissions coal technology research has reached an important milestone in Queensland with the first capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from Tarong Power Station flue gases using post combustion capture (PCC) technology.

The A$5 million PCC demonstration project is a partnership between CSIRO and Tarong Energy Corporation Limited.

PCC uses a liquid solvent to capture CO2 from power station flue gases and has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations by more than 80 per cent.

CSIRO Advanced Coal Technology Director, Dr John Carras, said PCC technology can help strike a balance between the increasing global demand for energy and the need to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

“Australia is fortunate enough to have access to affordable and reliable electricity, and that security of supply has been underpinned by coal,” Dr Carras said.

The pilot plant is designed to capture approximately 1000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

“However, greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of coal need to be mitigated. The pathway to achieving this objective is through large scale deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies.

“Collaborating with industry partners like Tarong Energy allows CSIRO to undertake rigorous technology trials, build experience and accelerate the adoption of PCC to reduce emissions from the energy sector in Australia and overseas.”

The pilot plant is designed to capture approximately 1000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. It will evaluate the effectiveness of CO2 capture using amine-based solvents and inform the development of efficient and economical PCC technology at commercial scale.

Tarong Energy Chair Graham Carpenter said the Corporation is proud to be involved in hosting Queensland’s first PCC plant.

“The opening of the plant marks a significant milestone as it is the first time in the Tarong Power Station’s 26-year history that carbon has been successfully captured on-site,” Mr Carpenter said.

“The Corporation is acutely aware of its environmental responsibilities and we have introduced a number of initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment over the past few years.

“If the trial is successful and carbon storage sites are identified, this PCC technology has the potential to lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from not only Tarong Power Station, but also from other coal-fired generators throughout Queensland and Australia.

“Working with CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research agency – has provided the team at Tarong Power Station with a fantastic opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology.”

The pilot plant was officially launched by Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson MP. The project received funding from the Australian Government as part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate program, which includes two other PCC pilot plants operating in Victoria and China.

The announcement of the first CO2 capture in Queensland coincides with Australia’s inaugural National Carbon Capture and Storage Week – an event that provides a focus for carbon capture and storage as an essential part of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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