Peabody to Fund Carbon-Capture Start-Up?

Coal company Peabody Energy is expected to announce its decision to invest in carbon-capture start-up Calera this week.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Coal company

Peabody Energy

(BTU) - Get Report

is expected to announce its decision to invest in energy start-up company

Calera

this week, according to the

New York Times

.

Calera's claim to fame is that is has developed technology converting most of the carbon dioxide emission from a coal or gas-fired power plant into calcium carbonate, which can then be prepared for use in wall or highway construction.

If Calera can replicate this process on a grander scale, companies could ultimately do away with costly carbon-sequestration systems that would need to be built next to these power plants, "and it might actually make the heretofore specious notion of 'clean coal' a possibility,"

Times'

columnist Thomas Friedman writes.

Calera is currently the pet project of Vinod Khosla, co-founder of

Oracle's

(ORCL) - Get Report

Sun Microsystems, and an avid supporter of clean energy start-up companies,

the Times reports.

"If this works," Khosla said, "coal-fired power would become more than 100% clean. Not only would it not emit any CO2, but by producing clean water and cement as a byproduct, it would also be taking all of the CO2 that goes into making those products out of the atmosphere."

Peabody stock is up 0.6% at $49.50 in pre-market trading.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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