LP Amina on March29 presented a concept in the MontanaEnergy Conference that, according to its fans, could potentially furtherthe longevity of Colstrip coal-fired plants while cutting CO2 emissions and generatingindustrial products at a reasonable price, reported the Billings Gazette.
BillWilliams of LP Amina touts the technology as a "poor man's coalgasification project." The process subjects coal to a heating process thatremoves its moisture and ups its heat content all while generating syntheticgas that can be used to power an engine or a gas-fired power plant, the reportsaid. Capable of capturing pollutants associated with coal burning such as CO2,sulfur and mercury, the process can also produce valuable hydrocarbons such asbenzene and toluene which can be used to boost octane in gasoline or in otherindustrial processes, the Gazette wrote.
Williamsclaims that such a plant, capable of processing 600 tons of coal per hour,could be built for around $500 million. This is in comparison to themultibillion-dollar gasification projects that have been undertaken in thepast.
Accordingto Williams, the process has been tested at the Southwest Research Institute inSan Antonio, Texas, but remains "hypothetical" at Colstrip as of yet,although theoretically, it should help operators of Colstrip achieve up to a20% decrease in CO2 emissions.
Agroup including the North Dakota Industrial Commission, andothers recently granted LP Amina funding to conduct a feasibility study inBeulah, N.D.