Chrysler, Energy Company and University Partner on Research to Take Toxin Out of Utility Emissions

- In St. Louis, Rams and Minivans Built at Chrysler Assembly Plants

- Paint residue from vehicle production fuels nearby electric-generating


- Test to determine if compound in paint reduces mercury emissions from

coal-fired electricity plant

Jan 11, 2008, 00:00 ET from Chrysler LLC

    ST LOUIS, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC is partnering with a
 major Midwest utility company and university researchers in a project to
 determine if paint solid residues from automobile manufacturing can reduce
 emissions of mercury from electric power plants.
     For the past year, Chrysler has recycled paint solid residues from its
 two St. Louis assembly plants for use as an alternative fuel in Ameren
 Corporation's nearby Meramec electric utility plant. Prior to this project,
 Chrysler's St. Louis plants were sending one million pounds of dried paint
 solids to landfill each year.
     Now, the paint solids replace about 570 tons of coal per year in the
 Ameren plant.
     The paint solid residues contain titanium dioxide, which has the
 potential to remove mercury from coal-powered plant emissions without
 affecting other processes in the plant. Mercury is chemically bonded with
 titanium oxide, a process known as chemisorption, and thus is potentially
 easier to trap in the plant's emissions scrubber system, research has
     "Our 'Paint to Power' program in St. Louis is a recycling success
 story. Rather than filling up scarce landfill space, we are using these
 paint wastes to produce power for St. Louis residents and businesses," said
 Deb Morrissett, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Chrysler.
     "Now we may be able to build on that success to further protect the
 environment from mercury emissions," Morrissett said.
     The effectiveness of titanium dioxide in controlling mercury emissions
 has been demonstrated in the laboratory and recent field studies, according
 to Dr. Pratim Biswas, chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental and
 Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Biswas is
 heading up the project to test the process in a full-scale power plant.
     Prof. Biswas and his research team have demonstrated the ability of
 nanostructured titanium dioxide to remove mercury with greater than 95
 percent efficiency. Recently concluded tests in a pilot scale facility have
 further corroborated the results of the laboratory research.
     Mercury is released into the environment in trace quantities from the
 burning of coal in electric-generating plants. The amount of titanium
 dioxide in the paint solids from the Chrysler plants would be sufficient to
 remove the trace amounts of mercury from power plant emissions, Biswas
     The electric power industry is currently studying the use of various
 other chemicals to remove mercury from power plant emissions. The U.S.,
 government has implemented the world's first requirements to cut mercury
 emissions from electric power plants.
     Through its collaboration with Chrysler's St, Louis assembly plants,
 Ameren's 855-megawatt Meramec power plant is the first in the nation to
 generate electricity by burning paint solids recovered from an automotive
 manufacturing facility. In the initial phase, the project produces enough
 electricity to power 70 homes for a year.
     The project has been recognized with a pollution prevention award from
 the St, Louis chapter of the National Association of Environmental Managers
 and with an Environmental Leadership Award from Chrysler.
     About the Partners
     Chrysler LLC's two St. Louis assembly plants manufacture the Dodge Ram
 light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks and the Chrysler Town & Country and
 Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
     St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation and its subsidiaries serve 2.4
 million electric customers in Missouri and Illinois.
     Washington University in St. Louis is an internationally-recognized
 independent teaching and research center with approximately 3,100 faculty
 and 11,000 students.