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What's After Cogeneration?

Firm plans 90 percent efficient `trigeneration' process

By: Lia Dean
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau

Tuesday, June 16, 1998

WASHINGTON -- Trigeneration - it's the "hat trick" of energy.

As the name suggests, trigeneration goes one up on cogeneration, a two-step process. Cogeneration reuses steam not only to generate more electricity but also to heat buildings. Cogeneration is about 60 percent efficient - that is, cogeneration captures 60 percent of the energy from each unit of fuel it burns.  

But 60 percent is kid stuff for trigeneration.

Trigeneration produces electricity for power, and steam for heat and chilled water for air conditioning. And it squeezes 90 percent of the energy from a unit of fuel.

Trigen-St. Louis has plans to start "trigenerating," although officials say it's probably three to five years down the road.

"Once we hit the trigeneration, that's the golden egg for all the units," said Dan Dennis, general manager. "We'd like to go after that target."