Four project partners received a $1 billion grant to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage network in down-state Illinois.

The FutureGen Alliance, Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcox and Air Liquide Process & Construction Inc. received a $1 billion grant to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage network.

"This investment in the world's first, commercial-scale, oxy-combustion power plant will help to open up the over $300 billion market for coal unit repowering," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu when announcing the grant.

With Recovery Act funding, the recipients will repower Ameren's 200 MW Unit 4 in Meredosia, Ill., with advanced oxy-combustion technology. The plant's new boiler, air separation unit, CO2 purification and compression unit will deliver 90 percent CO2 capture and eliminate most SOX, NOX, mercury and particulate emissions, according to the companies. The project partners also will construct a CO2 pipeline network from Meredosia to Mattoon, Ill., that will transport and store more than 1 million tons of captured CO2 per year.

Oxy-combustion burns coal with a mixture of oxygen and CO2 instead of air to produce a concentrated CO2 stream for safe, permanent storage. The Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory studies have identified oxy-combustion as potentially the least-cost approach to clean up existing coal-fired facilities and capture CO2 for geologic storage.

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