Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and others will formally kick off construction of a lab where researchers will test out new technologies to use carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant.
The goal is not only to prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere but to put the gas to profitable use, such as manufacturing exotic materials.
Construction of the lab already has begun at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station power plant near Gillette. An official groundbreaking event will take place Wednesday.
Work on the Integrated Test Center is scheduled to wrap up next year. Eventually the lab will host teams that will compete for $20 million in prize money to develop carbon conversion technology.
The project coincides with bankruptcies and layoffs that have beset Wyoming’s coal industry in recent months.