Carbon Sequestration – The ultimate in madness

Notice they say the “carbon plume may eventually drift (DRIFT) under Ohio”.  Notice the guy says everything will be fine until SOMETHING goes wrong. Notice one of the commentators says that depending on the amount of ammonia used the site could be considered a hazmat accident waiting to happen?

This article is from a very nifty issue of Scientific America:

But to the article:


November 6, 2009 | 9 comments

First Look at Carbon Capture and Storage in a West Virginia Coal-Fired Power Plant [Slide Show]

The world’s first power facility to capture and store a portion of its carbon dioxide has begun operating in Appalachia

By David Biello



CARBON CAPTURE: A relatively small unit in the shadow of the smokestack at the Mountaineer Power Plant in West Virginia has begun capturing carbon dioxide from the plant’s flue gas and injecting it underground for permanent storage.

NEW HAVEN, W.Va.—A 100-story smokestack belches a roiling, white cloud of water vapor, carbon dioxide and other leftover gases after burning daily as much as 12,000 tons of coal at the Mountaineer Power Plant—a total of 3.5 million tons a year. The facility just outside the town of New Haven boasts a single 65-meter-high boiler capable of generating enough steam to pump out 1,300 megawatts of electricity—enough to power nearly one million average American homes a month—continuously. And now roughly 1.5 percent of the CO2 billowing from its stack is being captured in an industrial unit rising from the concrete in its shadow and then pumped underground for storage. In case you were wondering, this last phase is called “clean coal”.

Mountaineer is the turning point,” says Philippe Joubert, president of Alstom Power, a subsidiary of France-based Alstom, SA. “We believe coal is a must, but we believe coal must be clean.”

View a slide show of the world’s first carbon capture and storage facility in operation

The small stream of flue gas travels to the carbon-capture unit through plastic pipes reinforced with fiberglass and is cooled to between –1 and 21 degrees Celsius from the 55-degree C temperature at which it emerges from the other environmental technology add-ons that strip out the fly ash, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The carbon-capture machine’s loud hum comes primarily from the whirring of fans to further cool the flue gas, along with the steady jostling of the agitator that keeps solids from settling out in the tall tank where the CO2 is captured. There is also the continuous chug of the compressors pressurizing that captured CO2 into a liquid at 98 kilograms per square centimeter. An incessant rumble also emanates from the regenerator stacks, as well, where steam heat and pressure combine to turn ammonium bicarbonate (part of the CO2-stripping process) back into baker’s ammonia (ammonium carbonate), siphoning off the captured CO2 in the operation. A little bit of ammonium sulfate—a fertilizer—is also produced; it is shipped to a farmer’s cooperative just across the river in Ohio.


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