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Richland Researchers Study Efficient Carbon Capture Methods

Aug. 25, 2011 | Northwest Public Radio
Courtney Flatt


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Battelle was awarded $2 million from the Deaprtment of Energy to study a cost effective a new carbon dioxide capture process. | credit: PNNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | rollover image for more

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers recently received a grant to develop a better process to capture carbon dioxide. It could save more than half of what coal-fired power plants now spend on the technology.

The new system will use heat more efficiently to remove greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants. Battelle researchers in Richland, Wash., received a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy. Battelle senior research scientist Dave Heldebrant says CO2 capture usually involves water-based solutions. That takes longer than the method he is researching. It uses organic liquids that don’t need to heat to high temperatures.

“If anybody’s boiled water on their stove, they know it takes a long time to get water to boil,” Heldebrant says.

Heldebrant says traditionally CO2 capture is heated with steam from coal-fired-power plants. This new system would use other heating sources, like a plant’s cooling tower. Heldebrant says it could be retrofitted onto existing plants. The project starts in October.

© 2011 Northwest Public Radio
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