Consol Energy to Debut Carbon Dioxide Process during G-200

By Heinrichs, Allison M | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 18, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Consol Energy to Debut Carbon Dioxide Process during G-200


Heinrichs, Allison M, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A potential solution to the dilemma of reducing greenhouse gases will debut in Western Pennsylvania next week, with the goal of attracting attention from world leaders in town for the Group of 20 economic summit.

At Consol Energy Inc.'s Research and Development center in South Park on Tuesday, a process for capturing carbon dioxide from coal- burning power plants is expected to receive $1 million from the state Department of Environmental Protection for further testing.

"Something like 80 percent of the energy used in this country is from fossil fuels," said Steven Winberg, Consol's vice president of research and development. "If we're going to restrain carbon emissions, then we have to do something with all that carbon dioxide."

The process couples a pressurized fluid bed combustion boiler from PFBC Environmental Energy Technology Inc., a Monessen-based company, with a carbon capture system created by Sweden-based Sargas Inc.

The boiler burns waste coal, which would otherwise have to be disposed of, to provide energy for power plants. The carbon capture system takes the carbon dioxide that results and stores it until it can be pumped underground, a process called sequestration.

Despite its environmental intentions, the process has not received a ringing endorsement from local environmental groups and Consol is preparing its security for possible protests during the G- 20 summit.

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