Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Smith in Group Building $50 Million Plant

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Smith in Group Building $50 Million Plant

Article excerpt

Don Smith, president of Smith Cogeneration Inc. in Oklahoma City, has formed a new company - Smith Powerfuels - to join a partnership building a $50 million plant to process clean coal in Wyoming.

With the implications of proposed clean air legislation and the environmental concerns over coal used to generate electricity, Smith said the venture is timely and compliments his cogeneration business.

"This latest investment, which serves electric utitilites with clean fuel, balances our cogeneration investments, which compete with the electric utilities by providing low-cost electricity," Smith said. "At the same time, this investment furthers my commitment to a cleaner environment.

"With this new clean coal technology, the problems of acid rain and global warming caused by burning fossil fuels can be greatly reduced by many utilities and industrial coal users simply by switching to a high-quality, environmentally clean fuel instead of using expensive pollution control devices."

Smith Powerfuels has joined K-Fuel Partnership of Denver and Energy America of San Diego, Calif., to build the first commercial plant in Gillette, Wyo. that will manufacture "K-Fuel." K-Fuel Partnership also has an office in Gillette. Smith said completion of the partnership was made a few weeks ago.

K-Fuel, a process to transform coal into cleaner fuel, was invented by Edward Koppelman in the mid-1970s. The technology was developed at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., in research programs funded partially by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Wyoming.

The process removes ash, sulfur and moisture from low-Btu coal with the use of heat and pressure to chemically and physically restructure low rank fuels and organic materials into a solid fuel. It is believed to be applicable to wood, peat, bagasse, separated municipal waste, sludge, lignite and subbituminous coals.

Smith characterized K-Fuel as an accelerated aging process.

The process has been demonstrated at a pilot plant in Gillette using Powder River Basin coal in Montana and Wyoming, an immature coal with a very high water content. …

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