Towards cleaner coal technology

01 July 2008

GE Energy has signed a carbon sequestration alliance agreement with Schlumberger Carbon Services to accelerate the use of “cleaner coal” technology.

The agreement aligns GE’s experience in integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) systems with proven carbon capture capabilities and Schlumberger’s geologic storage expertise and capabilities for site selection, characterisation and qualification.
GE is a leader in the development and application of IGCC technology, while Schlumberger provides unique expertise, technology and project management for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).  CO2 is a possible contributing factor to climate change.
“This is a first-of-its-kind alliance between leaders in IGCC technology and CO2 storage to accelerate the commercial development and deployment of cleaner coal power and encourage the proper regulatory framework,” said John Lavelle, president of GE Energy’s gasification business.
“GE can design and supply an IGCC plant with carbon capture today, or as a retrofit. Under this new arrangement, our two companies will align the technical needs of capture and storage for high operability and work in concert to offer customers a cost effective solution that will provide a complete answer for IGCC with CCS that can be readily implemented under the proper regulatory framework,” Lavelle added.
While the new arrangement provides technical and commercial expertise for moving forward with coal-based power generation, clear regulations and policies are needed for large-scale implementation. GE’s IGCC plants can be built with CCS from the beginning or designed to be retrofit when clear policy and regulations create an appropriate environment.
GE Energy’s proven IGCC process converts coal and other heavy fuels into a high-value fuel, known as synthesis gas or syngas.
The syngas is cleaned and then used in efficient combined-cycle systems to generate electricity. GE Energy has been at the forefront of IGCC technology since supplying a gas turbine for Cool Water, the first IGCC demonstration project, which came on line in 1984. GE’s IGCC technology also has operated at the TECO Polk I station in Florida for more than 12 years.
The company currently offers commercial scale IGCC plant designs that offer emissions approaching those of advanced natural gas combined cycle performance for SOx, NOx and particulate matter. IGCC technology also meets Clean Air Mercury Rules (CAMR) for mercury emissions and uses less water than a traditional pulverised coal plant. Several utilities in the eastern US, including Duke Energy, AEP and Tenaska, are currently working on proposed IGCC projects using GE’s technology.
GE’s IGCC technology is a key component of ecomagination, the GE corporate-wide commitment to address the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.

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