Dave Merrill of Bloomberg released an article, Mississippi Plant to Test if Coal Can Be Clean, on 24 April outlining plans for the United States’ first commercial power plant to capture most of its own carbon emissions. Utilizing lignite, the lowest quality coal, the heating value is potentially three times lower than using standard Appalachian bituminous coal.
“The Plant owner says that converting the coal into a synthetic gas, and capturing the carbon dioxide, will result in emissions comparable to a natural gas power generator.”
This 5 stage process, outlined in the infographic originally published by Bloomberg, begins at a strip mine connected to the plant. Via conveyor belt, the lignite is moved to the plant where it is dried, crushed, heated, and circulated in a gasifier. The flammable synthetic gas created at this juncture is called syngas, which is capable of generating electricity with fewer emissions than existing power plants. The byproducts of this process, such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sulphuric acid, are sold for commercial use. The carbon dioxide specifically will be used on oil fields in Mississippi and Texas to improve performance.