Thursday, 06 March 2008 08:25

Australia and China in clean coal research agreement

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Australia and China have signed a formal international agreement for clean coal research which could result in a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the coal fired power stations that proliferate throughout both countries.

The agreement, between Australia's Commonweath Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and China's Thermal Power Research Institute (TPRI), will see TPRI install, commission and operate a post combustion capture pilot plant at the Huaneng Beijing Co-Generation Power Plant as part of CSIRO's research program.

Post combustion capture (PCC) is a process that uses a liquid to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power station flue gases and is a key technology that can potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing and future coal-fired power stations by more than 85%, according to the CSIRO.

The pilot plant is designed to capture 3,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 from the power station and begins the process of adapting this technology to evaluate its effectiveness in Chinese conditions.

CSIRO's involvement in this PCC project has been made possible through through a $12 million Australian Government grant, $4 million of which supports the work in China.

Director of CSIRO's Energy Transformed National Research Flagship, Dr John Wright, said low emission energy generation was a key research area for the Flagship and he welcomes the support of the Australian Government.

"This project is part of a major research program to identify ways to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector," Dr Wright said.

"Climate change is a critical issue for Australia and internationally, and we're delighted to be working with TPRI to help find solutions to this global challenge.

"The project will focus on assessing the performance of an amine-based PCC pilot plant under Chinese conditions. It will allow PCC technology to be progressed in the Chinese energy sector which will have a much greater impact than operating in Australia alone.

"Our Chinese partners are aiming for the Beijing pilot plant to be up and running before August this year."

The installation of the PCC pilot plant in Beijing is a CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship research project and forms part of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate initiative (APP). The APP program for PCC also includes a pilot plant installation at Delta Electricity's Munmorah power station on the NSW Central Coast, with an additional Australian site currently under negotiation.

The Energy Transformed National Research Flagship is also undertaking PCC research outside the scope of the APP program with a $5.6 million project in the Latrobe Valley, which focuses on brown coal.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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