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 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.
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.