Archive for July, 2010

Why Delivering Low-Cost Electricity With Coal Is “A No-Brainer”

There is no doubt
that we’re living in a period of economic uncertainty. As a mother of two kids,
I know that many families like mine across America are doing what they can to
save money in order to make it through these tough times.

I was recently
watching a few videos from our Real
People, Real Stories series
. In this one, Shane Evans, a mine
dispatcher for Arch Coal’s Thunder Basin Coal Company in Wyoming, explains how
using coal to lower electricity costs for families and businesses can bring more
certainty to these uncertain times:

To learn more about
Shane, go to:

The Coal Wire: Domestic and International Deployment Of Carbon Capture and Conversion Technology

TheCoalWire In last
week’s Coal Wire
we highlighted the Clean Energy Ministerial held in
Washington, DC, and the international partnerships that are spurring clean coal
technology development. This week the U.S. is again showing that it can lead on
reducing emissions, with the Department of Energy
over $100 million to making CO2 into useful products
, and states
announcing new CCT projects.

Those stories and more in this edition of The Coal Wire,
where U.S. developments in CCT continue apace:

U.S. Funds Efforts To Turn CO2 Emissions Into Products (7/22):
“Can industrial CO2 emissions come in handy? The Department of Energy is
betting these carbon dioxide emissions, a culprit of climate change, can be
turned into useful products such as fuel, plastics, cement and fertilizers. DOE
announced Thursday $106 million in Recovery Act funding for six corporate
projects that will research the potential to use CO2 as an inexpensive raw

Associated Press
Hawaii Getting Carbon Dioxide Conversion Project (7/26):
“The department said in a Washington news release that a $24 million grant
has gone to Phycal LLC of Ohio. It will design, build and operate a
CO2-to-algae-to-biofuels facility in Central Oahu. Officials say Hawaiian
Electric Co. will qualify the biocrude for boiler use, and Tesoro will supply
CO2 and evaluate fuel products.”

Abilene Reporter-News
Tenaska To Use New Technology For Carbon Capture,
Officials Say (7/26)
: “New technology to capture carbon dioxide byproducts
has been selected for use at the Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center, the proposed
coal-fired power plant near Sweetwater … The technology is designed to capture
85 to 90 percent of the CO2 byproduct and send it via pipeline to the Permian
Basin, where it will be used in enhanced oil recovery.”

Department of Energy
Successful Clean Coal Technology Licensed For
Commercial Application (7/26)
: “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has
received the first installment from a repayment agreement for the Liquid Phase
Methanol (LPMEOH™) Process. A royalty license issued for the advanced methanol
production system underscores the clean coal technology’s presence in the
commercial market.”

And carbon capture successes are seen

Canadians Test CO2 Capture Via Concrete Block Curing (7/26):
“Researchers at Montreal’s McGill University are gauging the feasibility of
curing concrete masonry units with carbon dioxide, which can react with cement
to form a hybrid microstructure of calcium carbonate and calcium silicate
hydrate, the main binding product of hydrated powder … The alternative curing
represents a prospective means of carbon sequestration on a commercial scale. In
economies subject to caps on CO2 emissions, where regulators link the greenhouse
gas to perceived climate change, carbon capture technologies become trading

Australia’s Farm
Carbon Capture Revives Pilbara Plains (7/27): “In 1978, things
were pretty crook on the west Pilbara plain that Cheela Plain Station takes its
name from … That had turned around when the Carbon Capture Project reassessed
Cheela Plain Station’s health in 2008. The project rated nearly half the station
as now being in good condition and only 11 per cent as being in poor condition.
There was no sign of erosion.”

Algae Carbon Capture Pilot Launched By Vattenfall in Germany
: “Swedish utility Vattenfall has launched a pilot project using algae
to absorb greenhouse gas emissions from a coal fired power plant in eastern
Germany … ‘The microalgae use climate-killing CO2 to create valuable biomass,’
the chairman of Vattenfall Europe Mining and Generation, Hartmuth Zeiss, said in
a statement. ‘Moreover the new technology will bring useful know-how to the
Lausitz [region] and increase its importance as a region for energy

Field Museum’s Climate Change Exhibit

Field Museum Atrium

I was in Chicago
earlier this week and made some time to stop
by the Field Museum
to have a look at their
exhibit on climate change
.  If you live in the Chicago-area, or find
yourself there in the next few months, I highly encourage you to stop by the
exhibit and let me know your thoughts on how the information was

I walked away from
the exhibit with several lasting impressions, most notably these

Coal has played a
major role in helping to build this country into the global leader we are
today.  I was impressed that the exhibit went out of its way to make that one of
the first facts you learn upon entering the room.

According to the
exhibit – and this is something we say at ACCCE as well – we’re going to need
many strategies to reduce CO2 emissions.  In essence, there is not a “magic
bullet” approach to successfully manage carbon dioxide while still providing the
electricity we need to power our daily lives.

Ultimately, CCS and
other clean coal technologies must play a major role in producing electricity in
the future as we continue to widely develop other forms of renewable electricity

A final thought on my
trip to the Field Museum, in the last part of the climate change exhibition
there is a
that allows visitors to write on a piece of paper what they would do to
combat climate change.  There were many suggestions tacked to the wall, but the
one that stood out to me the most read simply “stop being lazy.”

Of all the knocks the
critics of coal-based electricity have against this industry, the one thing that
can’t be questioned is the money and effort that already has gone into
developing and deploying clean coal technologies.  And the more technology we
develop will mean faster wide-spread deployment both here and around the globe.
Speaking of not being “lazy”, take a
at the clean coal technology that is here today.  As the climate change
exhibit points out, this technology must be part of our energy

How America and China Can Work Together To Reduce Emissions

In the news and discussion online, there has been a
lot of interest lately in how America
can work with the rest of the world to reduce CO2 emissions and move toward a
clean energy future. Specifically, we’ve seen people asking what measures China is taking
to ensure CO2 emissions are improved. People are asking, what role does China play in
the clean energy debate? And how can America work with other countries
to help achieve lower emissions globally?


China has a huge role to play in the clean energy debate.
The fact is that huge segments of the population in the developing world live
without the benefits of electricity now. In the effort to improve quality of
life for its citizens, China
will be using its huge indigenous reserves of coal. They’ve already begun increasing its investment in CCS technologies,
and in yesterday’s Coal Wire,
we showed you how other countries like the UK, Canada and South Korea are doing the same.


In order to speed development and adoption of CCS
technologies in the US and
globally, the US is pushing
for joint investment between America
on China
on these technologies.  US
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu knows this will be vital to our economic and
energy security:


“Our prosperity in the
United States
is at stake here. If we do not get moving
the way Europe and China and other parts of the world are moving [on CCS], we will be importing these
technologies 10 and 20 years from today.”


Unless the United
States works with China
and other countries to develop clean coal technologies, and makes it possible
for other developing countries to use them, other efforts here in the U.S. to reduce
emissions will continue to be dwarfed on the international level. The necessity
to reduce CO2 emissions is global, and purposeful investment toward that goal
that can enrich the U.S.
if we are focused on leading.


The Coal Wire: Clean Energy Ministerial Touts Global CCS Collaboration


TheCoalWire Department of Energy
Secretary Steven Chu hosted a Clean Energy
earlier this week, bringing together government officials and
energy experts from more than 20 different nations to discuss how to move the
world towards developing and deploying clean energy technologies for this and
future generations. Clean coal technology was a large part of the discussions,
with the U.S. and twelve other countries pledging to establish a Carbon Capture Use and Storage Action


The action group,
along with a coalition of business and institutional partners, understands that
“Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will need to play a substantial role in
mitigating global emissions alongside other measures including renewables and
energy efficiency.”


In this week’s Coal
Wire, Secretary Chu stresses the urgency of increasing domestic investment in
carbon capture & storage; joint international CCT efforts continue; and
breakthroughs in emissions-reduction technology are announced at home and


ClimateWireBeijing Intensifies Carbon Capture And
Sequestration Work With U.S. (7/21, subscription

DOE Secretary Steven
Chu: “Our prosperity in the United States is at stake here. If we do not get
moving the way Europe and China and other parts of the world are moving [on
CCS], we will be importing these technologies 10 and 20 years from today.” This
is a position that China also wants to avoid.


Herald ScotlandCarbon Capture Campaign For U.S.

“Nick Horler, the
chief executive of ScottishPower, has joined [the U.K.’s] Secretary for Energy
and Climate Change Chris Huhne in a move to promote Scottish carbon capture and
storage (CCS) technology at a meeting of the world’s leading industrial nations
in Washington, The Herald has learned … The company’s plan is to develop a
demonstration ‘retrofit’ project based at its existing plant at Longannet in
Fife by 2014 Horler said: ‘The U.K. remains at the forefront of encouraging CCS


GreenWiseGovernment Must Keep Investing In Green
Technologies, Watchdog Says (7/19):

“The Government
adviser on climate change has said the U.K. should ring-fence funding for green
technologies in order to meet long-term climate change targets and low carbon
economic growth. In a report published today, the Committee on Climate Change
(CCC) said Government support must be protected for “at least” six low carbon
technologies, including carbon capture and storage, marine and offshore wind. It
also recommends funding for nuclear.”


Dow JonesUS, Canada Pledge Added C$5.2 Million For Carbon
Capture Project (7/21)

The U.S. and Canadian
governments jointly pledged on Tuesday an additional C$5.2 million in new
funding for the world’s largest and oldest geological carbon capture and storage
project, located in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.


CBC NewsCarbon capture project funding boosted

The $80-million
project, launched in 2000, has so far stored 18 million tonnes of carbon
dioxide, the government reports.


In the U.S., states
continue to back clean coal technology:


Business First of ColumbusOSU Awarded Clean-Coal Research
Funding (7/20):

In Ohio, “$2.03
million in funding comes through the state’s Coal Development Office and is
aimed at projects that study carbon capture and storage and efforts to separate
oxygen from air and convert coal to other fuels. Along with Ohio State, awards
also benefit research at the University of Akron, Case Western Reserve
University and the University of Cincinnati.”


And all the
investment pays off! CCT continues to improve


ReutersScientists Create Improved CO2-Absorbing Crystals
(7/15): “Chemists in South Korea and the United States have improved
design of a type of
artificial crystal, doubling the amount of carbon-dioxide they can absorb and
store. Called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), the metallic crystals are porous,
stable structures that can absorb and compress gases into very small spaces.
Scientists are hoping such materials can lead to cleaner energy and help capture
heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions before they reach the atmosphere and
contribute to global warming, rising sea levels and ocean


Science DailyCarbon Sequestration: Steam Process Could
Remove Carbon Dioxide To Regenerate Amine Capture Materials (7/15):

“Researchers have
demonstrated a relatively simple regeneration technique that could utilize waste
steam generated by many facilities that burn fossil fuels. This steam-stripping
technique could produce concentrated carbon dioxide ready for sequestration in
the ocean or deep-earth locations — while readying the amine materials for
further use.”


Clean Coal Technologies Can Power The Next Generation Of Cars

President Obama
visited Holland, Michigan yesterday, touring an electric car battery
manufacturing plant that will power the next generation of vehicles that
Americans will drive. At the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, we
share President Obama’s commitment to creating a clean energy future and the
ability to balance our nation’s energy, environmental and economic
interests. And the development of next-generation batteries for use
in automobiles is a broad step toward reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

We have long
supported this technology as a means to reduce emissions
. And, if the
electricity used to power America’s next generation of cars and batteries came
from power plants utilizing clean coal technology, America could greatly reduce
carbon dioxide emissions for cars on the road without increasing emissions in
the utility sector.

why we’re glad that Republicans and Democrats are working together to develop
and deploy carbon capture and storage technologies to not only power the next
generation of vehicles, but to power the next generation of American households
and businesses as well, all while reducing CO2 emissions and reducing CO2
emissions. Senators
John Rockefeller (D-WV) and George Voinovich (D-OH) came together
to write
legislation that could accelerate the deployment of CCS technologies, help
create jobs for our economy and keep electricity prices affordable for our
nation. We hope that, even in this election year, lawmakers from both sides of
the aisle will continue to band together to achieve a clean energy future for
America that also balances our economy and energy security

ACCCE Praises Introduction of Bipartisan Carbon Capture and Storage Deployment Act

In response to today’s introduction of bipartisan legislation accelerating the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage technology by Senators John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) President and CEO Steve Miller released the following statement:

“This bipartisan legislation could provide an important path forward in accelerating the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage technology, helping to create new jobs for our economy and to keep electricity prices affordable for American families and businesses. We  appreciate the work of Senators Rockefeller and Voinovich on this legislation, and their continued leadership in ensuring that the United States can continue to cleanly utilize coal, our nation’s most abundant domestically-produced energy resource.

“Coal reliably and affordably generates nearly half of our nation’s electricity, and this bill could help the private sector partner with the federal government to bring new, cost-effective clean coal technologies more quickly to the marketplace.”

The Coal Wire: Investment Follows New Successes In Clean Coal Tech


Both clean coal
technology and carbon capture projects have been in the news a lot lately with
more plants announcing integration of the technology every day, and more
governments and groups advocating increased investment in CCT

In this edition of
the Coal Wire, there’s news on new successes in emission-reducing technology,
and who’s taking notice.

West Virginia’s Williamson
Daily News
AEP a Frontrunner in Carbon Capture (7/9): “In 2009, the first
fully integrated carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) technology
validation project began operation at AEP’s Mountaineer Plant in West Virginia.
The latest project AEP and its partners are pursuing is a new that will
demonstrate those technologies at commercial scale.”

Oil & Gas Journal - DOE backed test shows ‘huff-and-puff’
EOR method can work for CCS (7/9)
: “A North Dakota field
test by one of the US Department of Energy’s regional carbon capture and storage
partnerships demonstrated that an enhanced oil recovery method known as “huff
and puff” can simultaneously assess geological formations’ carbon sequestration
potential, DOE’s Fossil Fuels Office announced.”

organizations see the results, and are urging countries to invest more in the
clean coal technology:

BellonaTimely Implementation of CCS Necessary to Avert
Climate Change, Says Report (7/12)
: A recent Clean Air
Task Force report “stresses that the fate of global climate may depend on
finding ways to burn coal without emitting CO2.  Consequently,
realising the potential of CCS is a task of high national and global importance.
Determined federal policy is needed to lay the groundwork for a coherent and
long-term effort to deploy CCS at a sufficient scale.”

The HinduEnergy Revolution, Key To Cutting CO2
Emissions (7/12)
: “More needs to be
done to achieve the necessary long-term carbon-dioxide (CO2) cuts, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) said while releasing the study report on
Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) 2010 here on July 1. ‘Increasing energy
efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS) would be two key options
available to stakeholders including governments,’ Mr Nobuo Tanaka, Executive
Director of IEA, told media persons.”

The U.S has already
got a head start investing in these emissions-reducing

Discover 80 Beats BlogClean Coal Gets a Boost: DOE Dishes
out $67M for Carbon Capture Research (7/8)
: “Secretary of Energy
Steven Chu said that the research is in line with the Obama administration’s
goal to have 5 to 10 commercial demonstration carbon capture projects online by
2016. ‘Charting a path toward clean coal is essential to achieving our goals of
providing clean energy, creating American jobs, and reducing greenhouse gas
emissions. It will also help position the United States as a leader in the
global clean energy race,’ Chu said.”

Delaware’s Newark PostGlasgow Research Facility Gets Clean Coal Grant
: “The Glasgow
company, American Air Liquide, Inc. was selected for a two-year project will
develop a cost-effective system for CO2 capture based on the performance
achieved by the operation of the Air Liquide hollow fiber membrane. Funding from
the Energy Department was listed at $1.26 million. The membrane will be coupled
with cryogenic processing technology in a closed-loop test system that will
verify the effect of possible contaminants on membrane performance at levels
relevant to coal-fired power plants.”

Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-LeaderLexington Company Receives Funding
For Coal Project (7/8)
: A Lexington company
will receive $2.74 million in funding from the federal Department of Energy to
further research related to reducing emissions from coal. … The funding is part
of a goal by the Obama administration to develop cost-effective versions of the
technology within 10 years and have five to 10 commercial demonstration projects
available by 2016.”

But other countries
aren’t far behind:

ReutersS. Korea to Invest $2 Bln in Carbon Capture to 2019
: “The South Korean
government said in a statement on Monday that the country’s total public and
private investment in carbon capture and sequestration would reach an estimated
2.3 trillion won ($1.92 billion) to 2019.”

TCE TodayImperial College Gets CCS Plant (7/12): Andrew Livingston,
head of the chemical engineering department at London’s Imperial College, said,
“Carbon capture and storage technology could play a vital role in the future in
helping the UK to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. The construction of an
amazing new carbon capture pilot plant at Imperial signifies the college’s
ongoing commitment to training the next generation of engineers and researchers,
who will play a pivotal part in making our country environmentally