New technology seen as core process in SaskPower's clean coal project
REGINA, SASK-SaskPower, Babcock & Wilcox Canada (B&W) and Air Liquide have agreed to jointly develop carbon dioxide (CO2) separation technology as the core process for SaskPower's clean coal project. The technology, called Oxyfuel, nearly eliminates emissions of combustion by-products, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. SaskPower is currently examining the feasibility of designing and implementing a 300-megawatt (MW) clean coal plant that would capture about 8,000 tonnes of CO2 a day. The CO2 would be sequestered in deep saline aquifers deep underground or sold to oil companies for use in enhanced oil recovery. "This may be the world's first near-zero-emissions pulverized coal unit," said John Nilson, Minister responsible for SaskPower, adding that the facility "would help meet emerging regulatory requirements while adding much-needed baseload generating capacity while effectively using our 300-year supply of low-cost lignite coal." The Oxyfuel technology works by removing nitrogen from all of the combustion air in order to operate the boiler in the absence of nitrogen. As a result, gases leaving the boiler are relatively easy to purify, compress and deliver for enhanced oil recovery with ultimate geological sequestration. The technology nearly eliminates emissions of combustion by-products, including GHG emissions. The latest agreement builds upon previously-announced agreements between SaskPower and B&W (a design supply partnership for the facility boiler) and Marubeni Canada and Hitachi for the turbine generator set. The boiler and turbine are considered the basic building blocks for a thermal generating station. Also assisting SaskPower in the design of the unit is the Regina engineering company Neill and Gunter. More information is available from Larry Christie at SaskPower, 306/566-3167.