LEXINGTON, Ky. — LG&E and KU, and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) have launched an innovative partnership to study the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at natural gas combined cycle power plants.
LG&E and KU and CAER researchers endeavor to develop a flexible, net negative CO2 emissions technology that will be directly applicable to natural gas combined cycle power generation while minimizing the associated capital costs of installing this technology.
In addition to capturing CO2, the system will produce two value-added streams, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2,) which can be sold to offset the cost of CO2 capture.
This study will explore extending equipment life and maximizing fuel efficiency by keeping the plant at a constant electricity generation rate by producing H2/O2 during periods of low power demand. Successful development of this research will lead to negative CO2 emission at natural gas combined cycle plants at an affordable cost.
The first phase of this research project will take place in CAER’s laboratories, with the goal of eventually moving this technology to LG&E and KU’s Cane Run Generating Station in Louisville for pilot-scale testing.
A Powerful, Long-Standing Industry-University Partnership
LG&E and KU and UK CAER have been leaders and partners in carbon dioxide capture research. Since 2006, LG&E and KU have directly invested more than $4 million in UK CAER’s decarbonization research.
In 2014, Kentucky’s first and largest pilot-scale CO2 capture unit at a coal plant, a 0.7 MWe unit, was built at LG&E and KU’s E.W. Brown Generating Station and has since logged more than 5,000 operation hours. The site has been used by CAER to support U.S. Department of Energy-funded research projects to investigate, test, and analyze CO2 capture technologies.
In conjunction with its parent company, PPL Corporation, LG&E and KU are committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and as part of efforts toward a sustainable energy future, across its generation fleet and throughout its business, and are targeting an 80% reduction from 2010 levels by 2040 and a 70% reduction by 2035.
About CAER Since 1977, the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has served as one of the nation’s premier energy research and development institutes, collaborating with companies and government agencies to help maximize Kentucky’s — and the nation’s — energy resources.
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