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Research program will grow algae to feed livestock using captured carbon dioxide at CWLP

Lake Springfield and CWLP (Jordan Elder/WICS)
Lake Springfield and CWLP (Jordan Elder/WICS)
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Springfield is set to become the home of the world's largest carbon capture research program at City Water Light and Power (CWLP).

The $67 million project is in partnership with the University of Illinois, and researchers will work to prove that carbon dioxide released by CWLP can be captured, instead of released into the air.

Now, there's a plan for what to do with that captured carbon. It will be used to grow algae, which can then be converted into food for livestock. Algae ponds will be constructed at CWLP, and will operate for 2.5 years.

“CWLP is pleased to serve as a host site to evaluate research and assist in the development of technology from the Dallman 4 carbon capture project to grow algae for reuse. Proven and cost-effective carbon capture and reuse solutions are what is needed with the move towards clean energy goals and sustainability. We are very fortunate for CWLP to have the opportunity to be a part of these projects with the University of Illinois," CWLP Chief Utility Engineer Doug Brown said.

According to CWLP:

“Captured CO2 from Dallman 4 flue gas will be used to grow algae that can be converted into animal feedstock. This project requires construction and operation of shallow ponds for algae cultivation. These ponds will take approximately 6 months to construct and be operated for up to 2.5 years. The start and end times and locational details will be finalized with the project team during the initial project engineering.

On April 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it was selecting the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to conduct large-scale pilot testing of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology at CWLP’s Dallman Unit 4. DOE allocated $47 million for this final phase to complete the project, which is building a 10 megawatt post-combustion CO2 capture system to process the Dallman Unit 4 flue gas. The State of Illinois has committed an additional $20 million, bringing the total cost of this phase to $67 million.

DOE cited the successful construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 test plant as a means to demonstrate economic carbon capture technology and help enable commercialization of the technology. In benefits to the community, PRI projects the construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 carbon capture facility will have a regional economic impact of $47.1 million and will generate tax revenue of $5.6 million for the City of Springfield.

Other ISTC research projects are underway with CWLP in addition to the carbon capture testing at Dallman Unit 4 and utilizing CO2 as feedstock for algae, other projects include: scrubber wastewater treatment technology; beneficial reuse of coal fly ash in plastics; and advancing the design of a hybrid power plant and energy storage system.”

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You can read more about the algae project here.

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