In the bag

Michigan State Roundup

Published March 1, 2003  | March 2003 issue

Marquette's Presque Isle Power Plant is the chosen one. The plant, owned by WE Energies of Milwaukee, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to host a federal demonstration project to test technology designed to remove mercury from emissions.

Under the Clean Coal Initiative, a $25 million baghouse—a chamber containing fabric filter bags that remove particles from furnace stack exhaust gases—will be built to collect and isolate mercury and other substances from the plant's emissions.

After the baghouse is built, substances such as activated carbon will be injected into the structure. Based on tests elsewhere, the DOE says the activated carbon will absorb mercury and other offending substances, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. If the theory proves correct, a part of the demonstration project will be an investigation on what to do with the captured mercury and other substances.

The project will take five years, and no actual construction is expected before 2004. Presque Isle, which supplies electricity to thousands of homes and businesses across the U.P. and northern Wisconsin, was competitively selected from several energy-related project proposals nationwide.

Rosie Cataldo