Utility tries ‘sequestration’ to block carbon emissions from atmosphere

Thu, 2007-03-15 09:16Bill Miller
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Utility tries ‘sequestration’ to block carbon emissions from atmosphere

The process – so far tested only at a laboratory scale, uses chilled ammonia to absorb gas for collection. It was developed by Alston, a major manufacturer of generating equipment, and aims to reduce the energy required to capture carbon dioxide.

It is estimated nearly a third of a power plant’s energy output might be needed to pull carbon dioxide from the waste stream. Alstom hopes to hold it to 15 percent. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology yesterday called for prompt work on demonstrating sequestration technologies.

Costs must be kept as low as possible if the technology is to be used on a wide scale. Congress is seen as unlikely to impose enormously expensive restraints on emissions. And under proposals to cap emissions nationally and let companies trade credits for extra reductions, only the cheapest methods of reducing greenhouse gases would thrive in the marketplace.

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A U.S. District Court judge ruled on June 27 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service both wrongly approved expansion of the West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colo., because they failed to take into account the economic impacts greenhouse gas emissions from the mining would have.
 
The federal agencies said it was impossible to quantify such impacts, but the court pointed out a tool is...
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