Clean coal technology to be tested in the U.S.

ThermoEnergy Corp. and ITEA S.p.A. announced that they will work together to promote, finance, design and construct a 50 MW pilot plant and a 320 MW commercial facility in the U.S. using a clean coal technology called pressurized oxy-combustion.

The goal is to accelerate the development of clean coal electricity generation by enabling utilities to continue burning coal while still removing emissions such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Moreover, the technology can be retrofitted to existing coal plants.

The pressurized oxy-combustion technology will be developed and marketed by Unity Power Alliance LLC, a joint venture between ITEA and ThermoEnergy.

It's not yet clear what the optimal pressure will be for commercial plants. ThermoEnergy holds patents for very high-pressure systems, while ITEA has patents on approaches that use somewhat lower pressures. Together the companies' patents cover a broad range of possible pressures.

Unity Power Alliance expects to begin building a 50 MW pressurized oxy-combustion power plant next year that will serve as the gateway to a 320 MW electricity-producing commercial power plant.

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