The Southwest Research Institute is researching a process to make coal-fired power plants pollution free.
The U.S. Department of Energy is providing a $3.3 million grant to create a pollution-free coal-fired power plant. West Virginia and other coal-driven communities could see a resurgance in their economy if the plan is successful.
The research firm is exploring a process to burn fuel using pure oxygen instead of air as the primary oxident. This is called oxyfuel combustion. This process does not heat the nitrogen. Fuel consumption is then reduced and higher flame temperatures are possible.
If this fuel process is successful, only water and carbon dioxide (CO2) will be released. The CO2 will be concentrated and can be kept in a tank instead of released into the air.
"Oxyfuel combustion has the potential to provide carbon emissions-free, high-efficiency electricity in next-generation advanced power plants," said Danny Deffenbaugh, Vice President of the Southwest Research Institute's mechanical engineering division.
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