Texas Carbon Capture Plant Breaks Ground

Skyonic's SkyMine Plant

by | Sep 25, 2013

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Skyonic's SkyMine PlantSkyonic has started construction on the Capitol SkyMine plant (pictured), a commercial-scale carbon capture and utilization plant, in San Antonio, Texas, Clean Edge reports.

The clean-tech news site says Capitol SkyMine will be first such plant built to commercial scale in the US.

Located onsite at the Capitol Aggregates Cement Factory, the plant is expected to capture 75,000 tons of CO2 and to offset an additional 225,000 tons annually.

The company expects Capitol SkyMine to turn a profit by selling products produced during the carbon capture process. The plant will use Skyonic’s SkyMine technology, which removes CO2 from industrial waste streams through co-generation of saleable carbonate and/or bicarbonate materials.

In addition to capturing and mineralizing CO2, the SkyMine process cleans SOx and NO2 from the flue gas, and removes heavy metals such as mercury, the company says. Existing power plants and industrial plants can be retrofitted with SkyMine.

Clean Edge reports the estimated 75,000 tons of CO2 and other pollutants captured annually at the Capitol SkyMine plant will be mineralized into solid product, sodium bicarbonate, and produce byproducts, hydrochloric acid and bleach.

In July, Skyonic awarded a $117 million contract to Toyo-Thai-USA, a subsidiary of Toyo-Thai Corporation, to build the carbon capture and utilization plant in San Antonio.

In other carbon capture news, existing coal-fired power plants won’t be required to use carbon capture technology under new EPA rules, according to media reports.

Last week, the EPA issued carbon pollution limits for new power plants; the agency will issue proposed standards for existing power plants by June 1, 2014.

While new coal plants will have to use carbon capture to comply with the new standard of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per MWh, the EPA’s rules for existing plants will allow states to use energy efficiency, clean-energy installations or demand cuts to reduce coal plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters reports.

US-based Arch Coal, one of the world’s top coal producers, says near-zero-emission coal plants will be achievable in time — but that technology is not available today.

“The Administration’s proposal goes way too far, way too fast, and threatens to arrest rather than spur technology advances,” says Deck S. Slone, Arch Coal senior vice president of strategy and public policy.

 

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