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Japanese utilities team on CO2-reducing tech for coal plants

Coal-ammonia fuel mix seen lowering emissions by at least 20%

Kansai Electric's coal-fired power plant in Maizuru, Kyoto.

TOKYO -- Kansai Electric Power and five other utilities will join hands to commercialize technology for burning ammonia with coal in power plants, a method that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20%.

The group, which also includes Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric Power, will participate in government research on ammonia as an energy source. The goal is to generate power efficiently from a mixture of ammonia and coal, building on work done at Tohoku University and elsewhere. The project also seeks to limit nitrogen oxide emissions from ammonia to levels that can be handled with existing scrubber technology. Field testing is slated to begin this year, with the aim of bringing the technology to market in the early 2020s.

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