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MHI Carbon Capture Technology to be Demonstrated in United States on Southern Company Coal-Fired Power Plant
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Southern Company, a major U.S. electric utility, will jointly demonstrate a plant to test technology enabling recovery of between 100,000 and 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year from flue-gas emissions from a coal-fired power generation plant.

The demonstration, involving the equivalent of emissions from 25 megawatts of the plant's generating capacity, is scheduled to begin operating by the first quarter of 2011. While the technology to recover and compress CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas has already been applied commercially, the planned development and demonstration testing of the plant in the application of CO2 recovery from flue gas of coal-fired generation plant, which contains more impurities, will be on a scale unprecedented anywhere in the world.

Based on the test results, MHI will pursue the CO2 recovery/compression technology needed for commercial-scale carbon capture.

The host site for the carbon capture project is Plant Barry, a unit of Southern Company subsidiary Alabama Power. The MHI carbon capture technology will be installed on an existing unit of the plant, with the CO2 captured in the demonstration transported by pipeline and injected underground at a site away from the plant grounds. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership will be responsible for the transport and sequestration.

The Electric Power Research Institute and other partners are participating in the project. Southern Company is approaching other electricity providers to join as well.

Specifically, MHI will be responsible for plant engineering, equipment supply, and provision of technical support during the demonstration phase.

The CO2 recovery and compression process consists of various facilities, including those for high-performance pre-processing desulfurization, flue gas CO2 recovery, recovered CO2 compression and utility.

Because the project is based in the United States, the detailed engineering and procurement activities will be provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MHI from their engineering office based in Austin, Texas.

MHI's CO2 recovery technology is KM-CDR Process™ ("The Process") that uses the company's proprietary KS-1 solvent for CO2 absorption and desorption, which MHI and the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. jointly developed. The Process requires considerably lower energy consumption than other technologies. Through the demonstration of the efficiency of The Process for the level of impurities contained in coal-fired flue gas in order to confirm the technology which is commercially viable.

Atlanta-based Southern Company is one of the largest energy companies in the U.S., with 4.4 million customers in the U.S. Southeast and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity.

Concerning CO2 recovery from natural gas-fired flue gas, MHI has delivered or provided technology to nine commercial plants, of which five are already on-stream – making the company the leader in large-scale CO2 recovery facilities. As to CO2 recovery from coal-fired flue gas, companies in the industry, including MHI, are still in the stage to confirm the technology for commercialization, MHI has already conducted small scale demonstration testing for CO2 recovery from coal-fired flue gas at 10 tons/day and confirmed its uninterrupted stable operation. The demonstration testing has been conducted in Japan since 2006 by having cooperation from Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER).

Through this project and others, MHI and Southern Company seek to support the goal of better understanding the impacts of reducing CO2 emissions from electricity generation and find ways to reliably supply energy with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Origine : Communiqué Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

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