OSU process achieves ultra low-carbon coal combustion

It’s always just a matter of time. The great minds working at our universities, research centers, and in our industry will always find a way.

Ohio State University researchers say they have created a process to draw energy from coal without burning the fossil fuel, reducing 99 percent of the pollution tied to climate change.

It’s called “coal-direct chemical looping” and so far the U.S. Department of Energy has invested about $5 million in the process, which is ready to go from small-scale OSU labs to a larger test facility in Alabama tailor-made for the experimental work.

“I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Liang-Shih Fan, an OSU chemical and bimolecular engineer and director of the university’s Clean Coal Research Laboratory who led the research.

“It is the hope that we will be able to offer this commercially.”

The hope is one day to retrofit coal-fired power plants with this technology, which captures nearly all of the carbon dioxide that it creates by heating the coal, not burning it. In most power plants, about one-third of the energy produced is used to separate the carbon dioxide from other byproducts.

Read the full Columbus Dispatch article online

11. February 2013 by Jason Hayes
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