Ribbon cutting launches Chamois Power Plan algae experiment to reduce carbon dioxide
SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Central Electric Power Cooperative hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 31, 2010 for an algae demonstration project at its Chamois Power Plant, east of Jefferson City on the Missouri River.
Springfield-based Associated Electric Cooperative and Central Electric Power Cooperative are collaborating with Lincoln University, Jefferson City, and Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, to study the feasibility of using carbon dioxide (CO2) in flue gas from Chamois Power Plant to feed algae. The demonstration project features algae growing in five large pools. The algae use energy from sunlight to feed on the flue gas CO2 as it bubbles up through the water. The experiment will determine whether this process can in fact capture CO2 and possibly reduce emissions said to contribute to climate change. In addition to mitigating climate change concerns, the algae contain an oil that can be processed into biodiesel. Other algae components can be used to make other products, including ethanol and livestock feed. The research project is funded by the cooperatives and performed in conjunction with algae research projects conducted at the two universities and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service and the Missouri Life Sciences Research Board. Principal researchers are Dr. Keesoo Lee, associate professor of biology, Lincoln University, and Dr. Paul Nam, assistant professor of chemistry, Missouri University of Science and Technology. This algae experiment is Central Electric Power Cooperative’s latest experiment in producing green power from biomass over the past five years. The plant has used corn cobs, walnut shells and old railroad ties and currently is mixing turkey processing sludge with coal to produce electricity. Central is one of six generation and transmission cooperatives that own Associated Electric Cooperative, which supplies them with wholesale power. Last year, 11 percent of Associated Electric Cooperative’s power came from renewable sources.