Testing is about to begin on an exciting new carbon capture scheme that hopes to cut greenhouse gases with an innovative use of liquid oxygen.

The project is being run by The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W), in collaboration with American Air Liquide Inc., and aims to produce a more efficient kind of coal-fuelled power station.

Tests will take place at the company's Clean Environment Development Facility (CEDF) in Alliance, Ohio, a large-scale demonstration facility that has been used to develop emissions-control technology.

In this scenario the CEDF will be used to validate a technology called $quot;oxy-coal combustion$quot; that utilizes pure oxygen for the combustion of coal in electricity generating plants. In this system, nitrogen that comes in with the air for the combustion process is eliminated. As a result, the exhaust gas is a relatively pure stream of CO2 that is ready for long-term storage operations.

B&W's development efforts are being done well in advance of similar projects around the globe. $quot;This is truly changing-the-world technology and we are pleased to be leading this research, Don Langley, B&W vice president and chief technology officer said. In addition, because the oxy-coal technology builds on pulverized coal combustion technology, it would be complimentary to most of the world's coal-fired power plants.

B&W will work with American Air Liquide to modify the existing CEDF facility for the oxy-coal process and will begin proving the technology in June 2007. American Air Liquide will provide engineering and chemistry know-how related to combustion, as well as proprietary equipment and sensors for the safe and efficient handling of liquefied oxygen.