$167 million project in Texas will capture 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has broken ground on a carbon capture and storage facility at a coal-fired power plant near Houston, Texas. The scheme aims to capture 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise have been released into the air. Dubbed the Petra Nova project, the initiative was announced on 5 September.

DOE had awarded the project $167 million (£104 million) to capture emissions from 60MW of generation, but its sponsors – American energy company NRG Energy and Japanese oil refiner JX Nippon – quadrupled the size of the project and expanded the design to capture the emissions from 240MW of generation, with no additional government funding.

Ultimately, the DOE estimates that Petra Nova will capture the same amount of carbon dioxide as removing 250,000 cars from the road. Specifically, the project will capture 90% of the carbon dioxide from the power plant, which will then be compressed, dried and transported to an oil field where it will be used to recover previously unreachable oil through a process known as enhanced oil recovery. The material will end up stored permanently underground, the DOE said.