By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A New River Valley business with links to Pulaski is advancing new technology aimed at making coal a clean source of energy.
MOVA Emissions LLC has successfully completed the first phase of testing on a patented technology that has proven to remove over 99 percent of fly ash generated by coal-fired power plants, according to a press release from MOVA and New River Valley Economic Development Alliance (NRVEDA).
Steven Critchfield, MOVA’s president and CEO, is affiliated with West Main Street Development (WMSD), which has purchased several buildings for redevelopment on Main Street in downtown Pulaski.
According to the new release, MOVA completed its first phase of testing using a “small scale model” of a “Panel Bed Platform (PBP)” to show that fly ash could be removed from coal emissions so as to meet EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards.
The second phase of testing begins this fall. It is aimed at meeting other EPA standards by removing contaminants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury from coal emissions.
Besides its emissions cleaning benefits the PBP technology also allows “for reduced cost and increased efficiency” in electrical power generated through coal-fired plants.
“Our mission is to become the premier provider in filtration practices for coal-energy producing companies and to establish coal as an environmentally safe and accepted means of generating power,” states MOVA’s website, www.movaemissions.com.
The technology being tested is based on patents developed by the late Arthur M. Squires and now owned by Squires Foundation. Squires, who died in 2012, was a chemical engineer and professor emeritus at Virginia Tech.
“The coal sector is one of the most debated means of energy production due to its reputation; however, coal is projected to remain the leading fuel for generating power for decades to come … MOVA Emissions intends to capitalize on the energy industry’s need for coal by taking advantage of its high projected demands,” states the company’s website.
MOVA hopes its technology will extend the life of coal-fired electric plants “so that clean, affordable energy can continue to be generated for years to come,” while also saving jobs. It cites statistics from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which indicates 13,000 to 17,000 jobs will be lost by 2015 due to the shutdown of coal-fired power plants in 26 states. The shutdowns are attributed to increased EPA regulations.
“Coal-fired power plants play a significant role in the survival of many small communities, which will be devastated financially if these plants are retired. Our technology, along with other clean coal initiatives, can help reduce or even prevent job losses from occurring and can help communities who rely on these power plants to remain prosperous,” MOVA’s website states.