How to Deal With New Emissions Standards? Some Plants Plan to Burn Wood.

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground.
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Alex Brown
Nov. 4, 2013, 2:21 a.m.

While the coal in­dustry be­moans reg­u­la­tions lim­it­ing emis­sions for new power plants, some util­it­ies are already pre­par­ing for tightened stand­ards on ex­ist­ing plants, The New York Times re­ports.

Their solu­tion is an old-fash­ioned one: Burn wood along with the coal to lim­it the car­bon pol­lu­tion leak­ing in­to the at­mo­sphere. One Min­nesota plant has already run a boil­er at 90 per­cent wood, call­ing it an “emis­sions-im­prove­ment be­ne­fit, and an eco­nom­ic be­ne­fit.”

Writes The Times: “Us­ing mod­est amounts of wood at a large num­ber of coal plants could be a re­l­at­ively quick way to phase in re­new­able en­ergy. And un­like wind- or sol­ar-power elec­tri­city from a boil­er, burn­ing wood is easy to sched­ule and in­teg­rate in­to the grid.”


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