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(PHOTOS) Carbon capture demonstration plant begins work near Gillette

This afternoon, American and Japanese partners celebrated the opening of a carbon capture project about 10 miles north of downtown Gillette.

A project worker takes a moment's break for a photo. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — This afternoon, American and Japanese partners celebrated the opening of a carbon capture project about 10 miles north of downtown Gillette.

The project, which is now operating at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

The project is at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, 12460 N. Highway 59, Gillette. The Wyoming ITC is a space where developers can use coal-based flue gas from Dry Fork, a coal-fired power plant.

KHI Energy Solution Business Division Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration Section assistant manager Yutaro Haro of KHI tells stakeholders about the project. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Japan Carbon Frontier Organization, also known as JCOAL, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have completed construction of their project, which will test whether KHI’s solid sorbent technology at the Wyoming ITC is sufficiently effective, useful and environmentally friendly to deploy at large-scale plants, according to a news release. KHI’s method of absorbing carbon dioxide uses less heat than a conventional amine-based solvent system would require, so it is more efficient and uses less energy than other carbon capture systems.

AECOM project manager Shane Miller describes how the project’s process begins. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

AECOM project manager Shane Miller said Campbell County residents should see that a lot of people are interested in both environmental stewardship and protecting jobs in Wyoming. Compared with the national government’s stalemates, Wyoming’s progress “speaks volumes.”

The project’s vacuum pump system, which takes the carbon dioxide from the carbon dioxide stack to discharge it. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Miller said the pre-fabrication of equipment and the teamwork of KHI, the ITC and subcontractors ensured the work got done on time. The project is small enough to be transported on the highway and is designed to be able to run in all weather, apart from super-cold temperatures.

KHI’s process includes heating up sorbent with steam to release the carbon dioxide. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

KHI Energy Solution Business Division Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration Section assistant manager Yutaro Hara said the project can run as long as the temperature is above minus 22 degrees.

Start-up personnel train operators (Mary Stroka/County 17)

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, said in a speech that the energy issue involves energy security, economic strength and environmental stewardship. Innovation is crucial for making energy cleaner and more affordable.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, says all energies, including coal, are essential for the economy. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

KHI Energy Solution Business Division general manager Tomohiko Sugimoto said the project began in 2021. The next step is environmental impact testing. He hopes the technology will spread throughout the U.S., Japan and the rest of the world as a contribution to efforts toward carbon neutrality.

KHI Energy Solution Business Division general manager Tomohiko Sugimoto remarks on the future of the project. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment commissioned the project, the release said. A 2016 memorandum of understanding committed Wyoming and JCOAL to cooperate in coal research, coal trade and development of carbon capture technology.

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