By W. James O’Brien, W. James O’Brien Associates Industrial Cost Analysis Services
© American Coal Online
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The unifying element in this opportunity is the co-location of the unit in a manner that addresses local market needs and then leverages further sales outside of local markets. The capture and compressor units should be located adjacent to the power plant’s railhead to facilitate the loading of compressed-gas trucks and compressed-gas railcars.
Other major users of industrial carbon dioxide
Steel mill furnace manufacturers are major users of carbon dioxide for various processes, including on-site fuel generation for their crucible needs. Steel mill co-location near coal-fueled power plants was, and remains, the primary strategy for economic success for iron reduction and steel refining. It therefore does not take more than due-diligence feasibility studies, and appropriate industrial planning, to persuade these ferrous metals processors, as well as metal recycling operations, which use electric arc furnaces, to invest in siting their plants adjacent to a coal plant.
In this way the ferrous metals processors would “foot the bill” without requiring utilities to go into the steel and fuel processing business. As long as coal-fueled generation plants could provide pipelined CO2, these ferrous refiners would persist as stable long-term customers. A 30- to 50-percent reduction in their present fuel costs would be routinely realized, even if they only transformed CO2 into carbon monoxide and hydrogen using waste heat from their furnace crucibles – a technique as old as the first Bessemer converter, the first of which was built and operational in the U.S. in Wyandotte, Mich. in 1858.
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Firms such as:
Implementing this strategy would satisfy any and all present and future U.S. EPA greenhouse gas reduction requirements while improving a power plant’s coal- (or natural gas- or biomass-) fired bottom line. Furthermore, this strategy can be implemented using standardized, standards-driven safe and proven designs. Perhaps the single most attractive aspect of this concept is that it will not require a single penny of government subsidy. It relies instead on the creative abilities and free markets available to the American coal industry.
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