Japan clean coal blog photo

Pictured are Joe Giove (on the left) and DAS Hrkman (fourth from the right) with the delegation. 

On a recent trip to Japan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management Lou Hrkman and Director of Coal Business Operations Joe Giove accompanied five U.S. state utility commissioners on a tour of a local ultra-supercritical coal plant facility.

The Isogo plant, located in Yokohama, Japan, operates under ultra-supercritical conditions, which means that it operates at a temperature and level of pressure above the critical point of water—the point at which there is no difference between the gas and liquid phases of water. When a power plant operates under such conditions, it is able to run with a much higher level of efficiency. In fact, the Isogo plant has a 43 percent efficiency rating (in terms of gross efficiency and higher heating value) and has very low emissions in particulate matter, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen dioxides. The plant, owned and operated by J-POWER, also claims to operate under the world’s highest steam condition (primary – 600°Celsius and reheat – 620° Celsius), which in turn contributes to the plant’s increased efficiency.

During the tour, DAS Hrkman and Mr. Giove had the opportunity to show the state utility commissioners—representing Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington—the advantages of using clean coal technologies in power plants. DAS Hrkman and Mr. Giove were also able to demonstrate the potential of these technologies for improving efficiency and reducing environmental emissions in plants in the United States, as well.

Nick Wagner, President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, led the utility delegation on the trip, while DAS Hrkman led the overall delegation. The trip was sponsored by DOE’s Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management through a cooperative agreement managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

To learn more about FE’s work in clean coal technologies, visit the Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management’s website.