CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules that would require coal and natural gas power plants to reduce or capture nearly all of their carbon emissions by 2038.

Congress approved $3.5 billion for carbon capture and storage projects last year…and some of that research is happening in West Virginia.

Eric Miner tells the story in a special report.

Carbon capture takes carbon dioxide out of power plants and even out of the air. Sequester carbon dioxide deep underground or find new uses for it.

We need to capture CO2 to prevent further climate change problems. ”

Xingbo Liu, Ph.D., Carbon Cat Pure Researcher, West Virginia University

WVU's Dr. Xingbo Liu and his colleagues are at the forefront of that research.

“We are working with WVU and many partners across the country and around the world to prepare for many CO2 capture uses.”

Xingbo Liu, Ph.D., Carbon Cat Pure Researcher, West Virginia University

One of those applications is nanomaterials that can be used to treat cancer.

It can then be converted into materials that can be used for biomedical applications, and with a few changes to the process, CO2 can be concentrated and sequestered in geological formations. ”

Bingyun Li, Carbon Cat Pure Researcher, West Virginia University

Opponents argue that carbon capture only extends the lifespan of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants at the expense of renewable energy such as wind and solar.

While research is being conducted in large-scale factories, WVU researchers are also looking at carbon capture on a smaller scale, such as in cars and homes.

Practical air capture technology has been developed and can be deployed almost anywhere. You can leave them in this room or capture them. No matter where you are, no matter where you are, you can keep that capture technology there so you can actually keep capturing. ”

Devance Bhattacharya, West Virginia University Carbon Capture researcher

it works. The question is how much do you want to pay? Anything with a dollar sign on it. Technologies with capture points and air capture points are commercially available. The problem is that it costs too much.”

Xingbo Liu, Ph.D., Carbon Cat Pure Researcher, West Virginia University

The economics of this process is part of the interdisciplinary research being conducted at WVU.

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