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Lignite Energy Council 'excited' about a potential new technology for coal-fired power plants

North Dakota’s lignite coal industry is excited about a new technology that could drastically cut down on carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants.

It’s called the “Allam Cycle.”

"It would allow a power plant to take coal, gasify it, oxy-fire it at very high pressure," said Mike Jones, the vice-president for research and development with the Lignite Energy Council. "By oxy-firing it, we basically would be using a super-critical stream of CO2 as a working fluid that drives the turbine."

Jones says there are a number of reasons to do this.

"The indications are, from our paper studies, is we could produce electricity at an efficiency of about 50 percent," said Jones. "At the same time, we would capture all of the CO2 -- 100% capture."

Jones says that CO2 could be used for enhanced oil recovery in the Williston Basin. And he says it produces low-cost electricity.

"The good news ism the price wouldn't be any higher than it is today," said Jones.

Jones says the Energy and Environmental Research Center at UND will be involved with the research, and the federal Department of Energy is also interested. He says this is potentially one of the most exciting and encouraging technologies – that could help coal remain viable in a carbon-constrained world.

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