It seems that there is part good news for coal power plants. A Swedish company has developed the world’s first clean coal-fired power plant, says an article in France 24. In stead of pumping CO2 into the amosphere, the plant converts the emissions into liquid for under ground storage.
Environmentalists however would have reasons to be wary of this concept. With its high carbon emissions, coal is generally seen as a major polluter. But this project launched by the Swedish electricity provider Vattenfall is now setting out to clean up coal’s reputation: in the eastern German town of Spremberg, the company has just opened what it says is the world’s first ever clean coal-fired power station.
This power station emits hardly any carbon dioxide, as most of the CO2 emissions are captured and stored underground.
The idea is simple. Carbon dioxide is captured, turned into liquid and transported hundreds of kilometers. It is then stored 3,500 meters underground in natural gas caves. The level of CO2 which escapes into the atmosphere is minimal. But the project has downside like it needs more coal to produce the same amount of electricity as with conventional means. And no one is sure whether the stored CO2 may not cause an increase in the temperature underground.
But that’s not stopping Vattenfall from investing 70 million euros in the project. But the future’s looking bright for coal in Germany. All nuclear power stations are due to close by 2020, so around 20 new coal-fired power stations are already being planned.
If the project is successful, Vatten fall will equip all these new installations with the technology. And countries such as China and India could also start using it. By 2015 Vattenfall hopes this cleaner form of electricity will be used commercially as part of the national grid.