Clean coal in action: world’s largest CCUS project in electric energy
Чистый уголь в действии
Minnkota Power plans to build a CO2 capture plant on the second unit of the 455 MW Milton R. Young coal-fired power plant in North Dakota. The $1.4 billion project will make possible annual utilisation of 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is one and half times higher than emissions from burning the associated petroleum gas in Canada, neighbouring the United States.

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Carbon dioxide will be captured with an amine-based solvent. The flue gas sent to a scrubber for cleaning of sulfur dioxide and cooling from 100 to 30 degrees Celsius will be fed to an absorber filled with an amine solvent absorbing CO2. The enriched solvent will be sent to the desorber for heating to 120 degrees Celsius to release carbon dioxide from the liquid, which will be fed into a compressor unit for high-pressure liquefaction. At the final stage, the liquefied CO2 is injected into the sandstone rock nearly 2 kilometres below the nearby lignite mine.

The project received a $15 million grant from the North Dakota Lignite Research Fund, as well as $2.1 billion in tax credits for the first 45 quarters. As Minnkota Power estimates, there will be an average of $50 in tax credits for each ton of CO2 captured. This scheme will facilitate searching for additional investors for the construction of the world’s largest CCUS plant in the power industry.

Power generation remains one of the two largest emitters of carbon dioxide. According to McKinsey, it accounts for 30% of global CO2 emissions, the remaining 70% is distributed between industry (30%), transport (19%), residential sector (6%), forestry and agriculture (15%). At the same time, coal-fired generation is the most carbon-intensive. If production of 1 kWh of electricity at coal-fired power plants is associated with emissions of 820 grams of CO2, for gas power plants it is 490 grams, and for biomass – 230 grams, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

It is possible to reduce the carbon footprint in coal generation through targeted measures along the entire chain of solid fuel use, Zinfer Ismagilov, winner of the Global Energy Prize, said in his interview with the Electric Power’s News. “If we talk about environmental protection in general, we should consider not only very important technologies for cleaning flue gases and utilising ash and slag waste, but the whole chain from the beginning. Coal mining, processing, transportation, combustion, cleaning of tail and flue gases, etc. should be environmentally friendly. At across the chain there are large reserves that can make the generation as green as possible,” he emphasised.


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March 2023