The projects would be developed using GreatPoint’s proprietary Bluegas technology, which uses catalytic hydromethanation to create pure hydrogen and substitute natural gas (SNG). This process is more efficient and cost effective than conventional gasification. The hydrogen will be used for industrial applications or combusted to generate near-zero carbon electricity. The SNG can be transported in the existing pipeline infrastructure and used as fuel in home heating, power plants or industrial processes.

“Peabody is advancing multiple projects with GreatPoint Energy using 21st Century technologies for greater utilization of coal in a low-carbon economy,” said Fredrick D. Palmer, Peabody’s senior vice president of government relations and head of the company’s Btu conversion activities. “Greater deployment of green coal with carbon capture is a clean energy solution.”

Catalytic hydromethanation, when combined with advanced power generation, could eliminate more than 90% of carbon emissions and nearly double the efficiency of conventional coal combustion or Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power plants, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The technology captures the carbon dioxide (CO2), which can be used for domestic oil production through enhanced oil recovery. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that there are more than 60 billion barrels of stranded U.S. oil, and the International Energy Agency estimates there are more than 200 billion barrels of stranded oil worldwide. These resources could be recovered with injection of captured CO2.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our relationship with Peabody, who we view as one of the world’s most forward thinking energy companies and the leading proponent of clean uses for coal,” said Andrew Perlman, president and CEO, GreatPoint Energy. “We believe that chemically converting coal into low- and near-zero carbon fuels represents the absolute fastest, largest-scale, and lowest-cost solution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”