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Nalco Carbon Project Selected for New Department of Energy Advanced Research Funding

A project that uses an electrochemical process to capture a key greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO), from coal-fired power plants is among 37 “transformational” projects to be funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The funding is among the first awarded through the DOE’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Nalco (NYSE:NLC), providing essential expertise for water, energy and air, is a partner in the project with Argonne National Laboratory.

The objective of this carbon capture program is to meet DOE goals of removing as much as 90% of the CO2 from a power plant’s flue gas while using less energy and at a lower cost than current technology. The carbon captured could then be used for a variety of potential uses including algae growth for enhanced biofuels production or for enhanced oil and natural gas recovery. It will build on an existing research partnership between Nalco and Argonne to develop advanced technologies to reduce, reuse and recover power plant cooling water.

 

“Finding ways to use coal more efficiently while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions will allow the United States to better use one of its key domestic energy sources,” said Dr. Manian Ramesh, Nalco’s Chief Technology Officer. “This is an outstanding opportunity to expand our existing partnership with Argonne to develop this exciting new technology for providing cleaner energy.”

“Electricity from coal is still a major part of America’s energy landscape,” said Seth Snyder, who leads process technology research at Argonne. “So it is pivotal that technologies be invented to reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. I am highly optimistic that Nalco and Argonne will be successful in demonstrating our carbon capture process that will mimic how living cells manage CO2.”

In announcing the ARPA-E grants, the DOE said the program “seeks to bring together America's brightest energy innovators to pioneer a low cost, secure, and low carbon energy future for the nation.”