We recently looked at a startup called Carbozyme that wants to use enzymes found in human blood as a model for carbon capture and storage. Carbozyme has a long way to go before its method hits the market, but the U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it wants to speed up the implementation of carbon capture and storage with a $3 billion grant ($1 billion from the DOE, $2 billion from private investors) for three large-scale CCS projects.
The investments will go to three coal power plants that use three different methods of CCS: a plant in West Virginia that plans on capturing 90% of emissions from a 1.3 gigawatt coal plant, chilling the emissions with ammonia to compress them, and storing them in underground saline aquifers; a plant in Alabama that will use similar methods, but also use gas for enhanced oil recovery; and a Texas project that will capture 90% of emissions from a 400-megawatt plant for enhanced oil recovery.
In addition to the latest $3 billion cash injection, the DOE has also pledged $1 billion to FutureGen, a 275-megawatt CCS project that was intended to be the first large-scale testing ground for the technology. Thanks to the latest round of funding for CCS, it might be beaten to the punch.