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Emission capture study funded for paper industry

October 13, 2009 Share This!

  • In the laboratory, the mineral calcite can grow rapidly on basalt when exposed to CO2. PNNL and partner researchers are beginning an economic and technical feasibility study to assess possible use of carbon capture and sequestration technologies on CO2 emissions from Boise’s paper mill near Wallula, WA.

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WALLULA, Wash. – Battelle and Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) will conduct the first-ever feasibility study of new carbon capture and storage technology in the $140 billion pulp, paper and paperboard industry, under a $500,000 project announced by the Department of Energy (DOE). 

This project will focus on capture technology developed by Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and will take place at Boise's pulp and paper mill near Wallula, Wash.  The seven-month study was funded by the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. It was one of 12 projects totaling $21.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding that DOE awarded recently for large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage.

Successful completion of the study could pave the way for pulp, paper and other industries to use technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2).

"This study provides us an opportunity to assess the feasibility of safely and permanently storing CO2 in deep underground basalt formations for a commercial-scale operation," said Pete McGrail, Laboratory Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and chief scientist for the project.  Battelle operates PNNL for DOE.

In Phase One, the team will develop a conceptual design for a sequestration system integrated with Fluor's capture system technology that could support injecting about 720,000 tons a year of CO2 into a deep flood basalt formation.

"This project will evaluate the potential for an enhanced competitive position for our Boise Wallula mill, and this feasibility study fits squarely within our broader companywide strategy to reduce carbon emissions," said Nick Nachbar, Boise's Wallula mill manager.  The company has made voluntary commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Coupling the capture system with permanent geologic sequestration of the CO2 represents an opportunity for Boise - and the pulp and paper industry in general - to seek a potentially new revenue source from carbon credits that would be generated once a fully functional U.S. market for carbon credits has developed.

Fluor will design a customized version of its Econamine FG PlusSM carbon capture technology for operation with the specialized chemical composition of exhaust gases produced from combustion of black liquor fuels.  Fluor will determine whether any special modifications are needed to accommodate flue gas produced at the mill, including potential side benefits of reducing emissions of sulfur compounds, which produce odors.  The technology has been commercially proven on numerous industrial facilities for more than 20 years.  This will be the first use on flue gas for the paper industry.

"Deep flood basalts can play a key role in helping meet global CO2 emissions targets," said McGrail.  "Flood basalt formations exist in several locations of the U. S. and in other countries worldwide, such as India."

According to DOE, projects will be subject to further competitive evaluation in 2010 after successful completion of their Phase One activities.  Projects that best demonstrate the ability to address the agency's mission needs will be in the final portfolio that will receive additional funding for design, construction and operation.

Should the Phase One feasibility evaluation be successful, project partners may propose a second-phase, commercial-design study with funding that could exceed $100 million.  Both phases - if awarded - could be supported under the ARRA, which allocates a total of $1.4 billion in funding for carbon capture and storage from industrial sources.

During the Phase One assessment there will be no construction, drilling, field characterization or CO2 injection.  Battelle and Boise are conducting a separate field research project exploring the ability of basalt formations to sequester carbon on that site.  The field study is part of a DOE-funded program administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory through the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership to facilitate commercial testing and deployment of carbon capture and storage.

Battelle has completed conceptual designs for more commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration systems than any organization in the world.

 


About Boise Inc.

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) manufactures packaging products and papers including corrugated containers, containerboard, label and release and flexible packaging papers, imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, newsprint, and market pulp.  Visit www.BoiseInc.com.

Boise Inc. has set voluntary goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Leaders partnership.  The company has also joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's first and North America's only voluntary, legally-binding integrated greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry, and trading system.


About Fluor Corporation

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) designs, builds and maintains many of the world's most challenging and complex projects.  Through its global network of offices on six continents, the company provides comprehensive capabilities and world-class expertise in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance, and project management.  Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 200 company and had revenues of $22.3 billion in 2008.  For more information, visit www.fluor.com.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, Emissions, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Climate Science

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. Battelle has managed the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., since the laboratory's inception in 1965.

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