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Energy funding carbon-capture efforts

WASHINGTON — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that $55 million would be made available to develop advanced technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from flue gases at existing power plants so that the greenhouse gas may be sequestered or put to beneficial use. The funding is a direct investment in carbon capture and storage related technologies that will support the Obama Administration’s effort to help mitigate the effects of CO2.

Coal is one of the nation’s most abundant energy resources, supplying nearly 50 percent of domestic electricity. Gov. Haley Barbour has said Mississippi is the Saudi Arabia of coal. And, Mississippi Power is proposing to build an integrated gasification combine cycle plant in Kemper County that would use locally-mined lignite for fuel and capture the plant’s CO2.

The funding opportunity is seeking applications for bench- and pilot-scale projects in four areas of interest: membranes, solvents, solid sorbents and condensed-phase capture. The solicitation is specifically focused on advanced technologies for post-combustion CO2 capture and purification that can be retrofitted to existing pulverized coal power plants.

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