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Minnkota says new method for reducing emissions 'promising'

The president and CEO of Minnkota Power Cooperative says the use of what’s called “Cy-Clean” at the Milton R. Young power plant near Center has helped reduce some of the plant’s emissions – especially in terms of mercury.

CyClean technology uses combustion additives that are added to the lignite coal before it’s burned in the boiler.

Minnkota CEO Mac McLennan says so far, the results are promising.

"We found significant benefits on the mercury side," said McLennan. "We will, I think, be able to use the CyClean product to meet all of our obligations for mercury control that the EPA will put in place in 2015. So we may not have to make any additional investments in mercury reduction, as a result of putting CyClean on our coal."

McLennan says reductions in nitrous oxide have proven to be a little trickier.

"So we have a big chemical experiment, if you will, going on," said McLennan. "And we have four or five inputs to that, including CyClean, to try and find NOx reductions. We have seen NOx reductions -- but it's not consistent. But we are seeing progress."

McLennan said coal comes in at different qualities, and that's a challenge.

Before starting to use CyClean, Minnkota invested $425 million on emission controls.

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