Clean Coal Stimulus Funds Put To Work In Indiana

Duke Energy hopes to tap $3.4 billion of stimulus funds to build the nation's first clean coal plant, burning the coal in a gaseous form and storing the CO2 emissions. It already has received federal funds to build the $2.35 coal power plant in IN.
March 20, 2009, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Duke Energy "is studying a method for capturing the carbon dioxide produced by using coal and storing the gas underground, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.

The (Edwardsport, IN) plant will differ from conventional coal plants in significant ways, cooking the coal into a fuel gas rather than burning it as a powder, and then thoroughly cleaning the gas and burning it in a jet engine, similar to that used to burn natural gas. Emissions of conventional pollutants, like sulfur, soot and smog-forming nitrogen, will be extremely low.

Two other such "gasification" plants already operate, in Florida and Indiana. Duke's first addition would be to use a machine to strip the carbon dioxide out of the fuel gas.

Until the beginning of last year, the Energy Department had backed a more ambitious effort, the FutureGen gasification plant in Mattoon, Ill., that would have sequestered 90 percent of its carbon dioxide, compared with a maximum of less than 60 percent at Edwardsport.

But in January 2008, the Bush administration decided that the price for FutureGen had grown too high and withdrew financing, proposing instead to finance add-ons like the ones contemplated at Edwardsport."

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Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in The New York Times: Energy & Environment
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