European power plants are aging slowly but surely.
Experts estimate that new power plants with a total output of 200 MW (or around 000 large plants) will have to be built by 200. Since renewable energies will not be able to fill this shortage in the medium or long term, coal will always occupy an important place. However, this fuel is not unanimously accepted because of the CO2020 emissions it generates and the strengthening of its use is not in accordance with the Kyoto protocol, which recommends a global reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
It is therefore necessary to increase the efficiency of power stations in order to produce more electricity from fuel, but also less CO2.
Researchers from six chairs at RWTH Aachen University are working together with the companies RWE Power, E.ON, Siemens and Linde on the OXYCOAL-AC project to achieve this goal. The OXYCOAL-AC project is funded in its first phase to the tune of 6 million euros by the Ministry of Economy and Labor (BMWA), the Ministry of Science and Research (MWF) of the Land of Rhineland of North Westphalia as well as industrial partners. This is the first project selected within the framework of the “concept of research and development of low-emission fossil fuel power plants” (COORETEC) set up by BMWA at the end of 2003.
The first phase of the “Component Development” project, which will run until 2007, relates mainly to basic studies, such as the development and optimization of ceramic parts, devices and modules for the membrane process, or the combustion of oxygen in a medium highly concentrated in CO2.