Nebraska Power Plant to Use Hydrogen Fuel, Slash CO2 Emissions
Nebraska Public Power District, the stateâ€™s largest electric utility, plans to replace an existing coal-fired boiler at its Sheldon Station plant in Hallam with one that uses clean-burning hydrogen fuel â€” a move the utility expects to reduce CO2 emissions at the plant by 1.1 million tons per year.
Monolith Materials will produce the hydrogen as a co-product from its production of carbon black using natural gas as a feedstock. When burned, the hydrogen fuel produces zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sheldon Station boiler using hydrogen as a fuel will continue to be capable of generating 125 MW of electricity for NPPDâ€™s customers. NPPD expects the boiler conversion to also reduce other types of air emissions.
The addition of hydrogen as a fuel source will further NPPDâ€™s diverse generation portfolio and will bring its carbon-free energy sources closer to 50 percent, while reducing air emissions from Unit 2 at Sheldon to close to zero.
Monolith Materials says it will use a safe, patented process that doesnâ€™t harm the environment to manufacture carbon black, a common material found in thousands of products including tires, rubber and plastics, printing inks and batteries. Monolith uses natural gas as feedstock in its process instead of oil or coal-tar as in the conventional process.
Monolith will build its new manufacturing facility adjacent to Sheldon Station so NPPD can easily access the hydrogen.
The companies expect to break-ground on their respective operations in 2016, with an expected completion date of 2019.
In 2013 the Department of Energyâ€™s Office of Fossil Energy provided $15 million to support Ionâ€™s carbon capture 1 MWe pilot project at Nebraska Public Power Districtâ€™s Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland.
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