Power Plant at University of Illinois Proposed as Site for New Carbon Capture Technology

U.S. DOE-Funded Research Could Slow Fuel Switching Trend in Electric Generation

Illinois Governor bruce rauner tours AbbottThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a multi-national team led by the University of Illinois to develop a proposal for retrofitting the University's Abbott Power Plant in order to capture the CO2 emissions. The team includes Linde Group and BASF (developers of capture technology), and Affiliated Engineering. The Phase I award is for detailed engineering and planning and is slated to have a total value of approximately $1.3 million. This is the first time the DOE has sponsored a large-scale pilot R&D project for the capture of CO2 emissions.

One of the strengths of the proposal was that it coupled the applied research experience of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) within the University of Illinois with the proven operational capabilities of Abbott Power Plant.

The cogeneration facility has been a leader in adopting and demonstrating new emission technologies. Due to its presence on the University campus, it combines operational excellence with a teaching and training focus. The project also leverages the unique capabilities of the College of Engineering and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University.

The project also includes an international advisory group that consists of major utilities and power suppliers from China, India, and Brazil. This advisory group is designed to be able to translate the successes at Abbott Power Plant to global markets in order to assist them in reducing their CO2 emissions. It also builds upon the reputation of the University.

second carbon capture research projectThe University proposal is one of two finalists for the Phase II award for building and large-scale testing and evaluation. The estimated total project size for Phase II is approximately $75 million with $60 million from the Department of Energy and $15 million in matching funds from non-federal sources.

This retrofit project is part of developing an overall approach to building a new market for captured CO2 within the state and region. The long term goal is to build a value chain and provide workforce training / re-training for operators from the coal and mining industries.

The project seeks partners interested in participating in forming and building the overall value chain for captured CO2. The value chain will not only include members and suppliers to the coal and power industry, but would also include end-users of CO2 including food and beverage manufacturers; metal manufacturers; agricultural-related products; oil and gas recovery; cement producers; construction industry, and rubber and plastics processing. If the project is selected for Phase II, partners would be responsible for assisting in covering the cost share.

Linde Group is among the world's largest gases and engineering companies with revenues of €16.655 billion (2013). Its commitment is to the development of technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

BASF is one of the world's leading chemical companies. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products, to oil and gas. The company describes itself as combining economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility.

U of I president and chancellor tour with governor rauner


Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is a technical consulting, design, and engineering firm providing innovative solutions for complex and large scale projects worldwide, supporting a diverse clientele. Based in 14 offices throughout the U.S. and abroad, the firm's staff of 575 includes 160 LEED® Accredited Professionals.

Facilities & Services (F&S), at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides all physical plant, operational, and essential services for sustaining an environment that fosters the research, teaching, and public engagement activities. F&S supports the university's education, research, and outreach missions by improving the physical condition of the facilities and grounds through construction and building maintenance activities, providing utilities production and distribution, implementing energy conservation initiatives, and increasing customer satisfaction by delivering quality services in a responsive, reliable, and customer-focused manner.

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