The US Department of Energy (DoE) has selected technology conglomerate, The Linde Group, to benefit from $15m for the advancement of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies.

Linde’s pilot plant is to be built in Wilsonville, Alabama and is expected to be in operation by early 2014. The facility will test CO2 scrubbing solutions to reduce the energy consumption and costs of advanced carbon capture and separation systems for coal-fired power plants.

Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Linde’s Clean Energy emission reduction targets explained the importance of the scheme, “Advanced CO2 capture for power plants is a critical element in achieving global greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. As a leader in this field, we are extremely proud that the DoE recognises our R&D efforts in this area, as especially in North America we see a growing need for efficient 'clean coal' solutions.$quot;

Opfermann added, $quot;The DoE award will therefore help strengthen Linde’s position in this future-oriented sector in the US.”

The pilot plant will be designed to capture at least 90% of the CO2 generated at an increase in the cost of electricity of no more than 35%. This would represent a significant improvement over existing technologies that can add as much as 80% to the cost of electricity.

According to Linde, the new plant will build on the experience gained in a comparable project in Niederaussem, Germany. Since 2009, this facility has seen Linde develop new CO2 scrubbing solvents in collaboration with electricity supplier, RWE and chemicals company, BASF. In a recent press release, Linde explained the significance of these type of operations. The firm commented, $quot;Post-combustion capture technologies like this one offer great near-term potential for reducing CO2 emissions because it can be added to existing power plants.$quot;