Air Liquide to Participate in Major U.S. Carbon Capture & Storage Project


HOUSTON - Air Liquide Process & Construction, Inc. (Air Liquide), part of the Air Liquide Engineering & Construction organization, has been named by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in the development of FutureGen 2.0 -- the world’s first full scale oxy-combustion power plant incorporating permanent CO2 capture and storage (CCS).

The recently executed cooperative agreement between the DOE and Ameren Energy Resources Company, LLC (AER) is part of a commitment by the DOE to award 1 billion dollars in U.S. federal funding for the clean coal power project, which includes sub-awards to Air Liquide and its technology partner Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG).

Capture and storage of CO2is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and making clean energy a reality. This project represents the first full-scale production initiative for clean coal energy using oxy-combustion technology and CCS. The project is designed to capture and store approximately 1.3 million tons of CO2each year, 90% of the plant’s CO2 emissions.

The project began its first phase on October 1, 2010, which includes engineering studies and economic analysis to re-power AER’s Meredosia, Illinois 200 MW power plant using clean-coal technology. Subsequent phases of the project will address further engineering and construction activities.

The oxy-combustion process being deployed is a result of innovative technology developed by Air Liquide and B&W PGG, which substitutes oxygen and recycled flue gases for normal combustion air in coal-fired boilers and incorporates an innovative CO2 purification process to produce a stream of CO2 suitable for direct capture and storage. The process helps reduce greenhouse gases from industrial activities that use carbon-based fossil fuels.

Air Liquide has been investing in oxy-combustion technology for more than a decade through R&D and successful participation in pilot projects in the U.S., France and Australia that demonstrate its technological viability. These include the operation of a 30 MW unit in collaboration with B&W PPG in Alliance, Ohio; the successful implementation of natural gas oxyburners and key CO2 purification equipment for the Lacq project with Total in southern France; and partnership in the Australian Callide oxyfuel project, designed to demonstrate integrated CO2 purification. Oxy-combustion is one of many innovations from Air Liquide designed to help meet the world’s clean energy needs, including products and technologies in biofuels, photovoltaics and hydrogen.

Michael J. Graff, President & CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. and member of Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee in charge of the Americas, commented, “We thank the U.S. Department of Energy for the opportunity to apply our clean energy technology. Air Liquide looks forward to working with its partners and the State of Illinois on this extraordinary project. Oxy-combustion is one of the main paths for reducing CO2 emissions from coal and other combustion processes.FutureGen 2.0 will help set the stage for future applications of this promising carbon capture technology.

With the Environment as a growth driver for Air Liquide, we are proud to contribute to helping the global industrial community meet its energy needs while reducing its carbon footprint.”

Oxy-combustion uses oxygen instead of air for combustion. Combined with an innovative CO2 purification process, it results in a relatively pure stream of CO2 ready for capture, storage or direct use. Air Liquide’s teams contribute their know-how and expertise in oxy-combustion in a number of applications such as fossil fuel energy production, metals, glass and cement manufacturing.

Air Liquide has developed highly specialized expertise in the oxy-combustion field, with over 800 combustion-related patents to its credit.

Air Liquide Engineering designs, develops and builds gas production units for the Group or for its customers. It comprises 3,200 employees, spread over ten Engineering & Construction centres, covering its major markets.

The 2007 integration of Lurgi, a leading technology company operating worldwide, provides enhanced expertise in the fields of process engineering and plant contracting for the refining and petrochemicals markets.

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