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Carbon capture to biofuel process gets go-ahead

Algae.Tec signed up for Bayswater facility

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An Australian company is planning to install a carbon capture system that will turn a coal-fired power station into a biofuel production facility.

The company, Algae.Tec, still has some fund-raising to do, but it's signed an agreement with Macquarie Generation to build its facility at the 2,640 MW Bayswater power station in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney.

Since storage is one of the big caveats of carbon capture, Algae.Tec won't be storing the waste CO2 it retrieves from the facility. Instead, the emissions it captures will be fed into sealed tanks as feedstock for algae, which will be harvested for biofuel. Algal waste from the biofuel process will be converted into pelletised stock feed.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/carbon-breakthrough-claimed-at-coalfired-power-plant-20130702-2p9sp.html first phase of the project will involve 400 tanks the size of containers.

The company says it can produce both biodiesel and, with hydrogenation, jet fuel from the process.

If it gets off the ground, the project will start by capturing just 270,000 tonnes of Bayswater's annual 19 million tonnes of emissions, but the plan is to ramp this up to 1.3 million tonnes in a few years.

Algae.Tec's announcement quotes Macquarie Generation's CEO Russel Stroud as saying: “Carbon is now our single largest cost. This technology should reduce our carbon output, reduce our carbon bill, and at the same time improve our bottom line.” ®

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