Callide to play part in US emissions
Tuesday 03 June 2014
TECHNOLOGY trialled in Central Queensland could be used to help the US cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent over the next 15 years.
The $245 million Callide oxyfuel project, which wraps up this year, has demonstrated that carbon capture technology does work, producing almost zero emissions when applied to an existing coal-fired power station.
Project director Dr Chris Spero said the next step was upscaling the trial from a current 30 megawatt power plant to a 167 megawatt plant in the United States (see story here).
The second stage was storage.
Community questions have been raised about the safety of carbon storage, but Dr Spero said this was one of the safest aspects of the project.
The Callide project has facilitated bulk storage through studies and collaborations and used the Kogan Creek power plant in Queensland as a model site.
“We looked at the storage of a 500 megawatt power station and looked storing one million tonnes per year in the Surat Basin,” he said.
The pre-feasibility study has been published by the National Energy Development Organisation.
The project also carried out two studies with the Carbon Capture Storage Institute that looked at the environmental and social cost of carbon dioxide transport and injection in the Surat Basin, mainly near Wandoan, Chinchilla and Taroom.
These areas were selected because of their geology and the ability for gas to be safely sealed under the surface.
“Socially and environmentally it raises eyebrows because people don’t understand it, but from an engineering point of view it’s pretty straightforward,” Dr Spero said.
“It’s about understanding coal and following good engineering and coal practice and it needs to be proved at each stage.”
Dr Spero pointed out that in the US, carbon dioxide has been used for decades as a means of pushing oil to the surface.
“Millions of tonnes are injected every year in US for oil recovery, so it’s not really a new thing. “Storing carbon dioxide for it’s own sake is a new thing.”
The project was awarded $63 million from the Australian government under the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund. It has also received financial support from the Japanese and Queensland governments and technical support from JCOAL.
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