I’ve talked about the FutureGen clean coal initiative a few times in the past, first to talk about how WGI has joined as one of the major players in building the facilities and second to talk about how China has thrown their hat into the ring as well.
But, now FutureGen is becoming less of a future initiative and more of a present day reality. Next week, the FutureGen Industrial Alliance is expected to announce the sites for the FutureGen clean coal plants.
Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is making a last minute push to try to secure a clean coal power plant in his state. Possible locations are either Tuscola or Mattoon. When built, the clean coal plant will provide enough power (275 megawatts) for 150,000 homes.
The idea behind FutureGen is to create coal-burning power plants that will use cleaning technology to sequester the carbon dioxide and other noxious emissions. Hydrogen will also be separated in the process and sold on the open market as a commodity for industry and to supply power to hydrogen cars and stationary fuel cells.
What to do with the sequestered CO2 gas has been open for debate. Some want to put the carbon dioxide into abandoned oil wells, caverns or other underground facilities. Others want to pipe the gas far down into the ocean’s depths. Others have suggested using quick-growing plant life such as moss to use for carbon sinks.
No matter what the final answer or answers are, one thing for certain is that FutureGen is moving forward. And, we can’t stop the future, no matter how much we may try.