Archive for March, 2011

Hydrological Cycle and Climate Change

Posted by on Thursday, 24 March, 2011

Hydrological cycle refers to the movement of water in various forms within different spheres of the earth surface. It plays an important role in determining the climate through its influence on vegetation, types of soil formed, soil moisture, clouds, snow and ice. The hydrological cycle is also responsible for transport of heat from lower latitudes to mid latitudes.

The most important natural phenomenon on earth, the water cycle also known as the hydrological cycle – describes constant movement and endless recycling water between the atmosphere, land surface, and belowground. The hydrological cycle involves exchange of heat energy, which leads to temperature changes.

H20 Molecule:

H20 consists of one atom of oxygen of hydrogen. The water molecule has a positive charge on the side of hydrogen atoms and negative charge on the other side. Water molecules tend to attract each other because the positive ends attracts to the negative ends.

In reality water molecules are three dimensional, and water follows the VSEPR rules- VSEPR, or Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion, is a theory that allows us to build accurate 3 dimensional models of atoms and molecules.

The bonds between oxygen and the hydrogen in the H2O molecule are not even, the oxygen has a larger share of the electrons due to its nucleus containing more protons, also called as its electro negativity. This leads each of those bonds to be a polar covalent bond, resulting in water having a slight positive charge on its Hydrogen atoms, as seen to the right.

This then makes water a polar molecule, as it has two negatively charged parts [the electron pairs that are unbound] and two positive parts [the Hydrogen atoms]. These opposite charges are attracted to each other. This holds water molecules together which explains why water is a liquid at room temperature while almost all other similar sized molecules are gases. This also accounts for water’s excellent dissolving capacity for other charged substances such as salt, and why uncharged substances [non polar] such as oil do not mix readily with water.

 

Hydrological Process:

The primary step of the water cycle starts with the evaporation- The primary source of energy for evaporation is the solar radiation. The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in oceans and seas. Rising air currents take the water, as vapour, up into the atmosphere, along with water from “evapotranspiration”- which is water transpired or “breathed out” from plants and evaporated from the soil.

 

 

Air currents move water vapour around the globe; the cooler temperatures in the atmosphere cause it to condense into clouds. The cloud particles collide, grow, and float around until they fall from the sky as precipitation. Some precipitation falls as snow and can accumulate as ice caps and glaciers, where it can stay, as frozen water, for thousands of years. In warmer climates, snow melts during the warmer spring and summer months, and that water flows into streams and rivers, which eventually return it to the ocean, or into the groundwater, which eventually reach underground aquifers.  Then again the initial process continues to roll. This is a big cycle and a never ending process.

There are four basic steps that tie this all together

Evaporation,

Transportation,

Condensation,

Precipitation and run off.

 

 

Evaporation:

The transformation of water from liquid to gas phases as it moves from the ground or bodies of water into the overlying atmosphere. The primary source of energy for evaporation is the solar radiation. Evaporation often implicitly includes transpiration from plants, though together they are specifically referred to as evapotranspiration. Total annual evapotranspiration amounts to approximately 505,000 km3 [121,000 cu mi] of water, 434,000 km3 [104,000 cu mi] of which evaporates from the oceans.

Evaporation should not be confused with boiling because when water undergoes evaporation, only water molecules that are on the surface of the water are actually turning into water vapour. In the boiling process, existing water reaches a complete phase change and therefore, the water is being turned into gas at a much faster rate. For e.g. the steam that is rising off of a pot of boiling water is water vapour evaporating.

Transport

The movement of water through the atmosphere, specifically from over the oceans to over land, is called transport. Some of the earth’s moisture transport is visible as clouds, which themselves consist of ice crystals and/or tiny water droplets.

Condensation:

Condensation is the change of physical state of matter from gaseous phase into liquid phase. In the water cycle process, the change is from water to water vapour.

Precipitation:

Precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapour that falls under gravity. Precipitation is a main component of water cycle. Precipitation occurs as rain and also as snow, hail, fog drip, and sleet. Approximately 505,000 km3 (121,000 cu mi) of water falls as precipitation each year, 398,000 km3 (95,000 cu mi) of it over the oceans.

Precipitation can be divided into 3 categories, based on whether it falls as liquid water that freezes on contact with the surface, liquid water or ice.

Rain is a type of precipitation during warmer weather, occurs mainly when the clouds are saturated. Snow is a type of precipitation like rain but at cooler temperatures eventually melts and becomes runoff in stream Mechanisms of producing precipitation include convective, stratiform, and orographic rainfall.

Stratiform processes involve weaker upward motions and less intense precipitation.

Convective processes involve strong vertical motions that can cause the overturning of the atmosphere in that location within an hour and cause heavy precipitation.

Groundwater:

Some of the precipitation soaks into the ground and this is the main source of the formation of the waters found on land – rivers, lakes, groundwater and glaciers.

Runoff:

There are different ways by which water moves across the land; they are surface runoff and channel runoff.

Surface runoff is when the precipitation rate exceeds infiltration rate, or when the soil is saturated, water begins to move down slope on ground surface. As it flows, the water may seep into the ground, evaporate into the air, become stored in lakes or reservoirs, or be extracted for agricultural or other human uses.

Other Process involved:

Infiltration:

Infiltration is the process by which surface water enters into the soil ground.  Once infiltrated, the water becomes soil moisture or groundwater. It is related to the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the near soil. Infiltration is governed by two forces, gravity and capillary action. Capillary action is when the water gets absorbed to the soil under the force of gravity. The process of infiltration can continue only if there is room available for additional water at the top of the soil surface.

This is a general hydrological budget formula, when all the components except “infiltration component “are known.

F = BI + P E T ET S R IA BO

“E” is for evaporation, “ET” is evapotranspiration, “P” is precipitation, “B0” is the boundary out, “Bi” is boundary input, “R” is run off and “Ia” is the initial abstraction

Sublimation:

Sublimation is when a solid turns directly into a gas, instead of first becoming a liquid. In the water cycle, this is seen when ice or snow is heated up enough to turn directly into water vapour.

Advection:

The movement of water in solid, liquid or vapour states through the atmosphere. Advection is a lateral or horizontal transfer of mass, heat, or other property. Accordingly, winds that blow across Earth’s surface represent advection movements of air. Advection is important for the formation of orographic cloud and the precipitation of water from clouds, as part of the hydrological cycle. Advection also takes place in the ocean in the form of currents.  Without advection, water that evaporated over the oceans could not precipitate over land.

Transpiration:

Transpiration is the process where water contained in the liquid form in plants is converted to vapour and released to the atmosphere.

 

Water Vapour escapes through open stomata, mainly on the undersides of leaves. Water enters the stomata from the inner cell; the guard cells open creating pores through which water vapour escapes, this process is called Transpiration.

Canopy interception

The precipitation that is intercepted by plant foliage and eventually evaporates back to the atmosphere rather than falling to the ground

Effects of Climate change on hydrological cycle:

Greenhouse gases and global warming are the major players that are seriously disrupting the world’s water cycle. It has been estimated that global warming by 4°C (7.2°F) is expected to increase global precipitation by about 10 percent. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, have led to a warming at the surface, by nearly 0.6°C (1.0°F) during the twentieth century, and it is widely believed that this trend will continue in the twenty-first century, leading to a higher sea-surface temperature and several other natural calamities.

 

Reference:

Picture:

http://dardel.info/images/hydrologic_cycle.gif

http://schoolworkhelper.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/3D_model_hydrogen_bonds_in_water.jpg

http://www.green-planet-solar-energy.com/images/h2o-molecule.gif

Condensation:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_e3fbY8dy2kY/SuwKzRgo74I/AAAAAAAAADk/0EhLakolSKw/s320/condensation2.jpg

Evaporation:

http://www.tech-faq.com/wp-content/uploads/images/Evaporation.jpg

Transpiration:

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTCSMFRFPH-fQSp9AJ_6y_-OMvzEdGuBj2QpJPS0Z049h3tab06MQ&t=1

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__iMtPpHiaxo/Ry878TJS_cI/AAAAAAAAAhc/Ukd0GHhnYxM/s320/transpiration.gif

Hydrological cycle:

http://www.isws.illinois.edu/docs/watercycle/images/hcycle.jpg

Precipitation:

http://water.nationalacademies.org/images/water_cycle.jpg

Website and PDF:

http://www.green-planet-solar-energy.com/h2o-molecule.html

http://bit.ly/hDn0XU

http://bit.ly/gVhxZm

http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/Samuel-32361-5-WATER-CYCLE-Molecule-Condensation-Convection-Cloud-Formation-Precipitation-Snow-Rain-Freshwater-as-Entertainment-ppt-powerpoint/

http://www.eolss.net/ebooks/Sample%20Chapters/C07/E2-16-10-01.pdf

http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/WATRQUAL.PDF

http://www.aces.edu/crd/publications/wtrqlty/wq1.pdf

http://water.nationalacademies.org/basics_figures.shtml

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/green-basics-explanation-water-cycle-pictures-diagrams.php?page=3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enhanced Oil Recovery Projects with CO2. Challenges, Standards and more

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery

World over, many countries are grappling with the twin challenges  of reducing dependence on foreign energy sources as well as decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases, the topic of  carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has therefore  received increased attention.

Studies reveal that CO2 -EOR has a substantial immediate- to long-term role to play in both increasing domestic oil production in a responsible way, and in sequestering CO2 underground. CO2 EOR can add value by maximizing oil recovery while at the same time offering a bridge to   a reduced carbon emissions future. It also reduces the cost of sequestering CO2 by earning revenues for the CO2 emitter from sales of CO2 to oil producers.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (also known as improved oil recovery or tertiary oil recovery) is a technique that is employed to increase the recovery of crude oil by injecting carbon-dioxide into the pore spaces of the rocks to extract from an oil field.

Now, how does injecting CO2 into the pore spaces of a rock aid in crude oil recovery?

When carbon-dioxide is injected into an oil reservoir, it mixes readily with the residual crude oil/ stranded oil. (oil that is left in the reservoir after conventional recovery techniques have been completed is referred to as stranded oil).

The solubility increases further when the carbon-dioxide is compressed and the oil contains lesser hydrocarbons (low-density) At one point, the miscibility of carbon-dioxide and oil stops.

As the temperature   increases (and the CO2 density decreases), or as the oil density increases (as the light hydrocarbon fraction decreases), the minimum pressure needed to attain Oil/CO2 miscibility increases.

Therefore, when the injected CO2 and residual oil are miscible, the physical forces holding the two phases apart disappears. This   enables the CO2 to displace the oil from the rock pores, pushing it towards a producing well just as a cleaning solvent would remove oil from your tools.

This CO2 “flooding” used for enhanced oil recovery can result in a recovery of  up to 20 percent more of the original oil in place.

 


Image Courtesy: NETL

Need for Enhanced Oil Recovery:

CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) offers the potential for storing significant volumes of carbon dioxide emissions while increasing domestic oil production.  Four notable benefits would accrue from integrating CO2 storage and enhanced oil recovery:

First, CO2-EOR provides a large, “value added” market for sale of CO2 emissions captured from new coal-fueled power plants.  The size of this market is on the order of 7,500 million metric tons between now and 2030.  Sales of captured CO2 emissions would help defray some of the costs of installing and operating carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.  These CO2 sales would support “early market entry” of up to 49 (one GW size) installations of CCS technology in the coal-fueled power sector.

Second, storing CO2 with EOR helps bypass two of today’s most serious barriers to using geological storage of CO2 – – establishing mineral (pore space) rights and assigning long-term liability for the injected CO2.

Third, the oil produced with injection of captured CO2 emissions is 70% “carbon-free”, after accounting for the difference between the carbon content in the incremental oil produced by EOR and the volume of CO2 stored in the reservoir .  With “next generation” CO2 storage technology and a value for storing CO2, the oil produced by EOR could be 100+% “carbon free”.

CO2 EOR and Sequestration

Before embarking on analyses of the purported cost savings potential, energy security, and environmental  benefits of CO2-EOR, it is important to briefly clarify the distinction between CO2-EOR and CCS.  CO2- EOR represents the process by which CO2 is injected into depleting oil fields for the purpose of  enhancing the recovery fraction of the oil that remains in the field following primary and secondary  production methods (Meyer, 2007).  According to recent survey data by Koottungal (2010), there are 129

CO2-EOR projects operating around the world, with 114 of those in the U.S.  Given the lack of binding  GHG constraints in the countries where these CO2-EOR operations are taking place, one must assume that  each of these projects is focused on optimizing oil recovery.  The vast majority of CO2-EOR projects  inject CO2 produced from natural underground accumulations; in the U.S. and Canada, naturally-sourced  CO2 provides an estimated 83% of the CO2 injected for  EOR, with anthropogenic sources providing the rest (Moritis, 2010).

CO2 EOR is   being   used by industries as it seems to hold a great potential for the permanent storage of carbon-dioxide. Though many experts raise concern over the issues caused by  geologic sequestration, studies reveal that the CO2 EOR could be one  of the best alternatives for dealing with carbon emissions in a safe manner.

EOR operations account for 9 million metric tons of carbon, equivalent to  about 80 percent of the industrial use of CO2 , every year. Although about 20 percent of CO2 used in EOR comes from natural gas processing plants, the majority used for EOR comes from natural underground sources and does not represent a net reduction in CO2 emissions. However, industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) offers the potential to significantly alter this situation.

Because of the cost of naturally sourced CO2—roughly $10-15 per metric  ton—a CO2  flood operator seeks to recycle as much as possible to minimize  future purchases of the gas. All of the injected CO2 is retained within the subsurface formation after a project has ended or recycled to subsequent projects. After years of experience with CO2  floods, oil and gas operators  are confident that the CO2 left in the ground when oil production ends and  wells are shut in will stay permanently stored there, assuming the wells are  properly plugged and abandoned.

Market for Captured CO2 emissions offered by EOR

The size and value of the market for captured CO2 emissions offered by enhanced oil recovery rests on three pillars:

(1)  the size and nature of the domestic crude oil resource base, particularly the large portion of this resource base unrecoverable with existing primary and secondary oil recovery methods;

(2)  the ability of CO2-EOR to recovery a portion of this currently unrecoverable (“stranded”) domestic oil, while efficiently storing CO2;

(3)  the impact of alternative oil prices and CO2 costs on the volume of oil that could be economically produced

Source: RC Ferguson, 2009

Revenue Streams from Sale of CO2 and  Production of Oil.

A most important benefit from integrating CO2-EOR and CO2 storage is that productive use of CO2 for oil recovery, as opposed to its non-productive disposal in saline formations, would provide a series of revenue streams:

One of these revenue streams (or cost avoidance) would accrue to the capturer of the CO2, helping lower the overall cost of conducting CCS.

A second revenue stream would accrue to state (and local) governments (or the National treasury if the EOR project is on Federal lands) from royalties, plus severance and ad valorem taxes. These revenues, in states such as Texas and Wyoming, are a primary source of funds for school systems and other public services.

A third revenue stream would accrue to a variety of individuals and entities from royalty payments, equipment sales, jobs and profits stemming from a successful CO2-EOR project.

Source: Advance Source International ( 2010)

 

CO2 Enhanced Recovery Live Projects

 

More from here – http://powerplantccs.com/blog/tag/veloxo-therm-process

More from here – http://powerplantccs.com/blog/tag/co2-eor

 

More from here – http://powerplantccs.com/blog/2010/03/12-us-industrial-ccs-projects-pursue-1-4-billion-in-doe-funding.html

Over 48 million metric tons (tonnes) per year of CO2 are used for EOR. Of this total, about 25 percent (12 million tonnes)  is anthropogenic in origin i.e., produced by human activities such as oil refining or fertilizer manufacturing (Trinity 2006). The  rest is extracted from naturally occurring deposits.

The CO2 used to increase oil production is an expensive commodity, and for this reason oil companies are motivated to ensure that up to three quarters of CO2 injected remains underground in the oil field. The amount of CO2  sequestered is  highly dependent on whether the field is blown-down following any CO2 operations. Further research and development in  this area is expected to improve the storage rate to close to 100 percent. Estimates made by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Some CO2 EOR in the US has been highlighted below:

CO2  source: Natural Gas Processing  Plant

Injection Start Date:  December 2006

Cumulative CO2 Injection: 230,000 tonnes

More from here: http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/07/carbon-seq/data/papers/tue_081.pdf

 

CO2 Source: Refinery or Ethanol Plant

Injection Start Date : February 2008

Cumulative CO2 Injection : 2,500 tons/ year

More from here: http://www.oilandgasonline.com/article.mvc/Carbon-Sequestration-Field-Test-Begins-In-Ill-0001


Advanced Power Plants  in the US Using EOR for Storage:

 

CO2 Source: Pulverized Coal Power Plant

Injection Start Date: 2011

Cumulative CO2 Injection: 500,000 tons/year

More details about the project from here: http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=96978

More CO2 – EOR Projects in the US from here – http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/factsheets/program/Prog053.pdfhttp://www.co2captureandstorage.info/project_specific.php?project_id=70

Growth of CO2- EOR Projects in the US:


To defray higher costs associated with CO2 for EOR projects, the US tax code has included ‘tertiary incentives’ since 1979 including an exception that allowed CO2-EOR crude to be sold at then free market prices, an exemption from the US windfall profits tax and a credit for production fuels from non-conventional sources.Finally, the US Federal EOR Tax Incentive was codified in 1986 enabling a 15% investment tax credit. There are currently eight states that offer additional EOR tax-incentives on incremental oil. CO2 EOR floods recover 206,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) representing 12% of the US oil production.  (DOE) show that depleted oil and gas wells in the United States and Canada have the potential to sequester over 82 billion tonnes of carbon in total (DOE 2007).

US CO2 – EOR Acvitity( 2010)

Image Courtesy: http://web.mit.edu/mitei/docs/reports/eor-css/kuuskraa.pdf

The CO2 EOR in the UK and Norwegian Sectors

Governments of the UK and Norway share the most immediate vested interests to create a demand for CO2 in the North Sea. For the UK exchequer this could provide a substantial revenue stream from taxation on incremental oil, additional jobs and improved balance of payments due to reduced energy imports.

Estimates within the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sustainable Hydrocarbon Additional Recovery Programme (SHARP) put CO2 EOR incremental production between 0.9 and 2.3 billion barrels.

The Norwegian government is recognised as being well versed with managing its oil assets and still retains a large equity ownership through its stakes in Petoro (100%), Statoil (78%) and Norsk Hydro (44%) and a 78% offshore taxation rate. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate conservatively estimates that a potential of 1.5 to two billion barrels CO2-incremental oil exists on the NCS with a value of US$45 to US$55 billion.

Key Implementation Challenges:

A key implementation challenge for using CO2-EOR to accelerate CCS is   matching CO2 sources from power and industrial plants with large oil fields favorable for enhanced oil recovery.

Certain regions, such as the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), already contain large oil fields favorable for CO2.  As such, with about 100 billion kilowatt hours of coal-fired generation and about 100 million metric tons of annual CO2 emissions from coal-fired power (equal to 3 billion metric tons in 30 years), entities within the ERCOT area should be able to relatively easily implement CO2-EOR and CO2 storage, assuming proper economic incentives and/or regulations are in place.  (Source: MIT, 2010)

Other reasons which prevent the implementation of CO2 projects include:

Project cash flow – a major objection to CO2– floods by operators in the US and Canada has been the relatively high initial investment and CO2 costs coupled with a possible long response time of one to two years before noticeable incremental oil production. For smaller independent operators moving into the North Sea, such considerations can be just as important as maximising total recovered reserves.

Project risk management – operators know that CO2 will enable them to recover significant quantities of incremental oil and the technology does exist to do this; They do not receive sufficient rewards to compete for internal capital against a new field development in another oil region with lower production costs. Governments are in competition for investment capital in their oil regions and more costly tertiary recovery will not take place without incentives that address this fact.

Cost and Economics of CO2 Enhanced Recovery

Carbon-dioxide EOR is a very capital intensive exercise, the highest cost for such type of projects is mainly the purchase of carbon-dioxide. For example, some of the cost components for enhanced oil recovery include drilling wells to serve as both injectors and producers. Even installing a CO2 recycle plant and corrosion resistant field production infrastructure, and laying CO2 gathering and transportation pipelines could be capital intensive.

There are three fundamental economic indicators that help quantify the commercial viability of a CO2-EOR project:

(i) The delivered price of CO2 at the oilfield.

(ii) The value of permanently stored CO2 as a greenhouse gas (GHG).

(iii) The value of the incremental oil (ie. volume and price).

Both capital and operating costs for an EOR project can vary over a range, and the value of CO2 behaves as a commodity, priced at pressure, pipeline quality, and accessibility, so it is important for an operator to understand how these factors might change.

Total CO2 costs (both purchase price and recycle costs) can amount to 25 to 50 percent of the cost per barrel of oil produced. In addition to the high up-front capital costs of a CO2 supply/injection/recycling scheme, the initial CO2injection volume must be purchased well in advance of the onset of incremental production. Hence, the return on investment for CO2 EOR tends to be low, with a gradual, long-term payout.

Break- up costs:

Costs breakdown for a CO2 – EOR/storage operation in the North Sea (Source: IEF, 2010)

Oil Price ($/Barrel) $70 *
Gravity/Basis Differentials, Royalties and 

Production Taxes

($15)
Net Wellhead Revenues ($/Barrel) $55
Capital Cost Amortization ($5 to $10)
CO2 Costs (@ $2/Mcf for purchase; 

$0.70/Mcf for recycle)

($15)
Well/Lease Operations and Maintenance ($10 to $15)
Economic Margin, Pre-Tax ($/Barrel) $15 to $25*
Cost and Economics of CO2 EOR ( Source: DOE, 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The cost and economics of the CO2 enhanced oil recovery have been illustrated in the table below: As of March 2011, the price of the oil is $115/ barrel, assuming all the costs highlighted above remain the same , the profit margin would be around $60-$70/ barrel.
  • Guidelines for Safe CO2 – Enhanced Oil Recovery:

Some have asked whether captured CO2 can be stored in a safe manner — whether stored CO2 may leak out of   its intended confinement space and either contaminate drinking water supplies or escape to the atmosphere.  “Most detectable leaks  that lead to elevated CO2 concentrations, and virtually all hazardous leaks, occur in volcanic areas that are highly fractured and therefore unsuitable for CO2 storage” (Benson, 2006).

Good site selection,  comprehensive site characterization, proper injection rates, appropriate site monitoring, operation of  the facility within established safety envelopes, coupled with the implementation of remedial measures if leakage is detected,  assures the safe geologic storage of CO2

Some guidelines of safe CO2 storage could be obtained from here:

http://www.uscsc.org/Files/Admin/Educational_Papers/AttachmentToUSCSCReportOnCCSSafetyPaper_GeologicalStorageRiskAssessment.pdf

http://southwestcarbonpartnership.org/_Resources/PDF/3%5B1%5D.%20Is%20CCS%20Safe.pdf

CO2 – Enhanced Oil Recovery – Q & A

Will the carbon-dioxide leak from underground?

No, this is very unlikely. For well-selected, designed and managed geological  storage sites, experts calculate that the rock formations are likely to retain  over 99 percent of the injected CO2  for over 1000 years.

Any CO2  that is produced along with oil and natural gas is captured and  re-injected. The company operating the EOR project bought the CO2 and  expects to re-inject it if any is produced, to maximize its value. It only has  value when it is used to remove oil from the rock formation underground,  so there is a strong economic motivation to collect it for re-injection, either  in the current project or another.

When a CO2  EOR flood is finished, the CO2 that remains underground, stays there. Monitoring efforts can be put into  place to make sure that is true.

Can Storing CO2 Underground Cause Earthquakes?

Early research in the 1950s showed that the injection of fluids at sufficiently high pressures  can cause  “hydrofracturing” or fault activation or slippages along pre-existing fractures (in places where faults already existed). These could induce small-to-medium-sized earthquakes. Based on  an improved  understanding of local and regional  stresses in the earth’s crust, guidelines have been developed to prevent injection-induced micro-seismicity.  Now,  regulatory agencies limit injection rates and pressures to  avoid unintentional hydro-fracturing.    Micro-seismic monitoring is often done early in a project to establish safe operational parameters for injection.

No. Oil companies have been injecting CO2 in West Texas for decades and have not caused any earthquakes. Large volumes of water have been re-injected into oil fields all over the country without any evidence of the injection having caused earthquakes.

Carbon dioxide sequestration projects will operate under similar guidelines.  Storage site locations will be carefully selected to avoid such problems. In addition, there have been decades of experience with EOR (using CO2 injection) and natural gas storage projects without encountering such problems. There is also some limited experience in  Japan, where a CO2 storage site was subjected to two earthquakes (unrelated to the stored CO2) in the 6.8 range on the Richter scale and experienced no leakage. (Source: Carbon Sequestration Council, 2009) Read morehttp://powerplantccs.com/blog/2010/01/can-storing-co2-underground-cause-earthquakes-alberta-scientists-probe.html

Summary:

CO2 EOR is a promising technology to safely store CO2 underground so that it cannot contribute to climate change. While this technology has been implemented by the oil industry since 1972, further research is needed to ensure that the stored  CO2 remains isolated from the atmosphere and the biosphere on the order of  thousands of years and that the storage process remains as safe and economically viable as possible.

 

CO2 EOR is   being   used by industries as it seems to hold a great potential for the permanent storage of carbon-dioxide. Though many experts raise concern over the issues caused by geologic sequestration, studies reveal that the CO2 EOR could be one  of the best alternatives for dealing with carbon emissions in a safe manner.

EOR can add value by maximizing oil recovery while at the same time offering a bridge to   a reduced carbon emissions future. It also reduces the cost of sequestering CO2 by earning revenues for the CO2 emitter from sales of CO2 to oil producers.

The United States leads the world in both the number of CO2 EOR projects and in the volume of CO2 EOR oil production, in large part because of favorable geology.  (Natural Resources Defense Council July 2008).

The key facilitating parameters are market oil price, CO2 delivered price and government incentives. It is the type and magnitude of the incentives that will draw the parties together to realise as much of the potential incremental oil prize. No other commercial solution has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions as much as CO2 for EOR.

Research studies reveal that  the use of CO2-EOR yields an additional 6 – 15% of the original oil in place (OOIP) and therefore can produce 10 – 30% more oil from a chosen field.

CO2-EOR will result in additional jobs being created on platforms and onshore facilities.  Also, the government commitment to help with costs for platform decommissioning will be further delayed.

Oil produced by CO2-EOR will usually not be recovered using conventional primary and secondary methods of extraction.  Therefore the oil and its associated economic benefits will be lost if CO2-EOR is not implemented

Sources:

http://www.isco.com/WebProductFiles/Applications/105/Application_Notes/Enhanced_Oil_Recovery.pdf

http://www.cairnindia.com/KC/Brochures/EOR.pdf

http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/oilgas/eor/

http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/oilgas/publications/eor_co2/Undeveloped_Oil_Document.pdf

http://www.energy.ca.gov/process/pubs/electrotech_opps_tr113836.pdf http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/publications/EP/small_CO2_eor_primer.pdf

http://www.touchoilandgas.com/enhanced-recovery-needs-enhanced-a423-3.html

http://bit.ly/gCW0kZ

http://ie.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/scientific_publications/2005/EUR21895EN.pdf

http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/factsheets/program/Prog053.pdf

http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/publications/brochures/CO2Brochure_Mar2006.pdf

http://southwestcarbonpartnership.org/_Resources/PDF/3%5B1%5D.%20Is%20CCS%20Safe.pdf

http://www.bgr.bund.de/cln_151/nn_1182122/EN/Themen/Geotechnik/CO2-Speicherung/FAQ/faq__node__en.html?__nnn=true&__nnn=true#doc1182120bodyText5

http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/01/carbon_seq/2a1.pdf

 

 


CCS Projects in China

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

China is the largest Carbon dioxide emitter in the world and it emits more than 3 billion ton Co2 per year. However, China’s per capita Co2 emission is less compared to USA or Europe. In 2009, per capita Co2 emission in China was 6.1. Nearly two-third of China’s energy needs ie 80% of electricity, 50% of industrial fuel use and 60% of chemical fuel use comes from coal. A number of studies show that coal will be a major part of China’s energy until at least 2030. Even though there are strong policy incentives for energy efficiency, renewables and other low carbon technologies, this situation will prevail.  According to a research agency, emission from fossil fuel combustion has increased by 9 percent.

China uses more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan combined. But China is emerging as world’s leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants. Global warming gases from China are expected to continue to increase. China’s aim is to use the latest technologies to curb the rate of increase. Only half the country’s coal-fired power plants have the emissions control equipment to remove sulfur compounds that cause acid rain. 60% of new plants are being built using newer highly efficient technology. They are expensive.

Most of the coal resources are in the west and north regions of China; Shanxi, Shaanxi and inner Mongolia together account for 65% of the coal reserves while southern part of the country mainly Guizhou and Yunnan account for 13% of coal reserves. Shanxi, Shaanxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Xinijiang, Tibet, Qinghai, Ningxia, Guangdong, Hanian, Taiwan, Shanghai, Sichuan, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Hubei etc. are the major coal resources in China.

Following are some of the CCS projects in China:

  • Luzhou Natural Gas Chemicals
  • Japan – China EOR Project
  • GreenGen
  • PCC Demo Project

 

Not enough information is available at present regarding other CCS projects in China. China if they are serious about reducing their CO2 emissions will have to go for a large number of CCS projects.

Luzhou Natural Gas Chemicals:

The Luzhou plant produces 400,000 t/y synthetic ammonia and 520,000 t/y urea for the fertiliser industry in China. Part of the plant contains a scrubber system that captures CO2 from the process for urea production. Fluor’s Econamine FGSM technology is used for Co2 capture in the Luzhou plant. The captured Co2 is used for the production of urea.

Luzhou Natural Gas Chemicals

Facts:

Project type: Capture

Volume: 160 t/d tonnes/CO2

Company/Alliance: Luzhou Natural Gas Chemicals (Group)

Location: Luzhou City, China

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Amine

Status: Operational large scale project

Industry: Chemical products

 

Japan – China EOR project:

On May 7th 2008, the Governments of China and Japan have agreed to cooperate in a project to inject CO2 emitted from a thermal power plant in China into an oil field. About 1 to 3 million tons of CO2 will be captured annually from the Harbin Thermal Power Plant in Heilungkiang Province and potentially other plants elsewhere. It will then be transported by pipeline about 100 km to China’s largest oil field – the Daqing Oilfield, and injected and stored into the oilfield.

Harbin Thermal Power Plant

Facts:

Project type: Capture & Storage

Volume: 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 tonnes/CO2

Company/Alliance: China National Petroleum Corporation and other organizations from China Toyota Motor Company and JGC Corp., METI-affiliated Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and other organizations from Japan participate in this project

Location: Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Storage site: Daqing Oilfield

Type of storage: EOR

Status: Active

Industry: Coal Power Plant

Cost: 20 to 30 billion Yen

Project Start Year: 2009

 

GreenGen Project:

GreenGen is a joint venture representing China’s largest electric utilities and coal companies. The $1 billion GreenGen was founded in 2005. The main aims of GreenGen project are to develop and demonstrate a coal-based power generation system with hydrogen production through coal gasification, power generation from a combined-cycle gas turbine and fuel cells, and efficient treatment of pollutants and CO2. In April 2008, GreenGen and Tianjin officials signed an agreement for two 400-megawatt IGCC uni

GreenGen IGCC Coal Power Plant

Facts:

Project type: Capture

Volume: Stage I: 250 MW, Stage II: 650 MW

Company/Alliance: China Huaneng Group with China Datang Group, China Huadian Corporation, China Guodian Corporation, China Power Investment Corporation, Shenhua Group, State Development & Investment Co., China Coal Group, and the Chinese government and Peabody Energy.

Location: Tianjin City, Bohai Rim, China

Capture Method: IGCC/ Pre-combustion

Status: Identified

Industry: Coal Power Plant

 

PCC Demo Project:

PCC Demo project is china’s first Post Combustion Capture demonstration project. As part of Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate (APP), the project is based on the agreement between the Australian government research organization CSIRO and China’s Thermal Power Research Institute (TPRI).

PCC demo project plant

Facts:

Project type: Capture

Volume: 3,000 tonnes/CO2

Company/Alliance: Australia’s CSIRO and China’s Thermal Power Research Institute

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Amine

Status: Operative

Industry: Coal Power Plant

Year of Operation: 2008

Capital Cost: A$4 million

 

Shanghai Shidongkou power plant:

This is an ultra critical, coal fired power plant with a capacity of 660 MW located in northern shanghai. The plant is additionally equipped with carbon dioxide capture technology that separates and purifies CO2 from a flue gas stream to produce 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is the largest such facility in china and one of the world’s largest carbon capture facility in the world. The captured CO2 is used food packing, dry ice and beverage carbonation.

This project has very low capture costs. The project broke ground July 2009. The Shanghai Shidongkou Second Power Plant had originally been developed, constructed and operated by the HIPDC before it was transferred to Huaneng in July 1997. The plant is located on the outskirts of Shanghai and has an installed capacity of 1200MW and consists of 2, 660MW coal fired units.

Shanghai Shidongkou Second power plant

Facts:

Project type: Capture & Storage

Company/Alliance: Huaneng Power Group

Location: Shanghai, China

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Amine

Industry: Coal Power Plant

Cost: US$ 24 million

 

Government Institutions:

There are two main governmental institutions which are actively engaged in Chinese CCS. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is overlooking technology development and research and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is responsible for CCS policy. The Ministry of Science and Technology is developing long term CCS R&D strategy.

By the initial estimate of MOST China has following storage capacities:

  • 46 oil and gas reservoirs with a capacity to stora 7.2 billion toones of Co2
  • 68 un – mineable coal beds with methane recovery and capacity to store 12 billion tonnes of Co2
  • 24 saline aquifiers with the capacity to store 1,435 billion tonnes of Co2

China’s Scientific and Technological actions on climate change were issued by MOST in 2007. MOST has been leading on drafting the Guide for CCS science and technology development. The Guide plans to determine the goal of CCS R&D in 2020 and 2030, to Identify major tasks for capture, storage, transportation, and utilization technology development etc.

International Cooperation on CCS Activities in China:

Other countries like United States, Australia, Japan, Canada and the EU support CCS initiatives in China.

The United States is funding a range of projects including “Building Regulatory Capacity in China – Guidelines for Safe and Effective Carbon Capture and Storage” and “Promoting Better Use of Coal Mine Methane. The Obama administration has signalled its interest in scaling up cooperation on clean coal technologies including CCS. Peabody, a US company, is a partner in the Chinese GreenGen IGCC/CCS project. China was one of the founder members of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), a US-led initiative launched in 2003.

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a post-combustion carbon capture plant with China’s Huaneng Group at the Gaobeidian Beijing plant – the first demonstration of its kind in China. Global CCS Institute of Australia has a strong interest in expanding CCS cooperation with China, building on the existing Australia-China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology, established in 2007. In April 2008 Australia announced that it was going to invest AUS$20 million in cooperation in China.

At the EU-China Summit in 2005 the two sides established a Climate Change Partnership. One of the main objectives of this was to develop and demonstrate advanced, near-zero emissions coal (NZEC) technology through CCS by 2020 in China and the EU. COACH (COoperation Action within CCS CHina-EU) is an EU R&D project exploring various aspects of CCS technology in partnership with China, with a focus on capture, transportation and storage of CO2 from an IGCC plant.

Japan and China have agreed to develop a CCS demonstration based on Enhanced Oil Recovery.

China is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate Change (APP) and an active participant in its Cleaner Fossil Energy Taskforce.

China is a member of Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF). CSLF is a ministerial level international climate change initiative for the development of cost effective technologies for carbon capture and sequestration.

CCS Research and Development Activities in China:

The current Chinese CCS-related projects are in cooperation with foreign partners and largely based on foreign investment. CCS projects are governed under Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). China has adequate capacity to store its CO2 emissions according to MOST and other studies related to CCS in China. The majority of emissions from large point sources can be stored in large deep saline formations at estimated transport and storage costs of less than $10/tCO2 excluding monitoring costs.

China has the theoretical capacity to store the CO2 produced from its major point sources according to studies. According to studies:

  • China has storage capacity in excess of 2,300 billion tonnes CO2 in onshore basins, with deep saline-filled sedimentary basins accounting for over 99% of the total.
  • There are over 1620 large stationary CO2 point sources that emit a combined 3.89 billion tonnes CO2/year and 91% are within 100 miles of a candidate deep geological storage formation;
  • Preliminary analysis suggests that the majority of emissions from China’s large CO2 point sources can be stored in large deep saline formations at estimated transport and storage costs of less than $10/tCO2 (not including monitoring costs).

 

China’s National Actions for low- carbon economic development:

From 1990 onwards China began to give importance in climate change and participated in international efforts. China is promoting energy conservation and emission reduction. Also low – carbon development was proposed in China. China made official emission reduction commitment.

Some of the China’s actions for low – carbon economic development since 1990:

1990: Chinese government sent delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

1992: Chinese government signed UNFCCC.

1998: China signed Kyoto protocol.

2002: China ratified the Kyoto protocol, China integrated the climate issues in to the general strategy of constructing “harmonious society and harmonious world” in the 16th CPC National Congress.

2006: In the 11th 5-year plan, the mandatory target to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent has been set; Ministry of Science and Technology, China National Meteorological Administration, National Development and Reform Commission, State Environmental Protection Administration jointed Publicized National Assessment Report on Climate Change.

2007: The mid-term GHG emission reduction target was set in the APEC conference.

 

2008: White paper entitled China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change was published.

 

2009: 2.1 trillion yuan was devoted to energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental protection areas; Chinese government issued official document to implement Bali Roadmap, making clear China’s stance on this issue and its willingness and determination to push forward positive outcomes in the Copenhagen conference; President Hu Jintao illustrated China’s concrete measures to tackle climate change in the United Nations Summit on Climate Change.

 

2010: China ratified the unbinding “Copenhagen Accord” reached in the United Nationals Climate Conference in December, 2009.

2011: The UK has made an agreement with China to formally work together on low-carbon growth. China has set a national carbon intensity reduction target of 17% and intends to cut energy intensity by 16% by 2015.

 

China’s 2020 goals fighting climate change:

  • Reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 % compared with the level of 2005
  • Increase the share of non-fossil-fuel power (renewable energy, nuclear, etc.) to15% of the country’s total primary energy consumption by 2020
  • Increase 40 million hectares of forest areas and forest volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters from the levels of 2005
  • Promote the Green development, circular economy and low-carbon economy, strengthen R&D&D of climate-friendly technologies

China’s perspectives on CCS:

  • CCS is one of the potential important technological options to address climate change.
  • There still remain many difficulties in the development and deployment of CCS technology.
  • To promote the development of CCS international collaboration to be strengthened

 

Sources:

http://sequestration.mit.edu/

http://www.zeroco2.no/

http://www.co2captureandstorage.info/

http://www.germanwatch.org/klima/ccs-china.pdf

http://www.gassnova.no/frontend/files/CONTENT/CCSWorld/Japan/China_summary-issue5.pdf

http://www.nzec.info/en/

http://www.iea.org/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/emissions-soar-in-china-and-india/

http://bit.ly/fMUZJK

http://www.ga.gov.au/image_cache/GA16219.pdf

 

 


Reduced Emissions in Deforestation and Degradation

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

REDD[Reduction in De forestation and degradation]is an UN initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions and invest in low-carbon technologies to sustainable development. This mechanism of flow of funds from developed to developing countries could lead to reduction of carbon emissions and could also help in conserving the depleting biodiversity.

Deforestation and Degradation:

Around the world, forests are being destroyed at a rate of about thirteen million hectares a year and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17 – 20% of all global emissions.

Global deforestation was estimated at 13 million ha/yr for 1990-2005 (FAO 2005) Deforestation and forest degradation result in substantial reductions in forest carbon stocks and increase in emissions.

IPCC WG1 estimated emissions from deforestation since 1990s at 5.8 GtCO2/ yr.

Rainforests provide a wide variety of ecosystems services, from regulating rainfall to purifying groundwater and keeping fertile soil from eroding; deforestation in one area can seriously damage food production and access to clean water for an entire region.

Deforestation World Map:

Forests and other terrestrial carbon sinks play a vital role in preventing runaway climate change, soaking up a full 2.6 Gt of atmospheric carbon every year. The destruction of forests, therefore, not only emits carbon – a staggering 1.6 Gt a year, which severely impairs forests’ capacity to absorb emissions from other sources – but also drastically reduces the amount of forested land available to act as a carbon sink in the future.

Rainforests are also a home and source of income for a huge number of people in Africa, Asia, and South America. Despite this, economic pressures frequently drive both local communities and national governments in the developing world to exploit these forests in ways that are unsustainable, clear-cutting vast areas for fuel, timber, mining, or agricultural land.

 

Another serious problem is forest degradation. This occurs when the structure or function of a forest is negatively affected by external factors such as fire, pests or pruning for firewood thereby reducing the forests ability to provide the services and products. Forest degradation is also a huge source of CO2 emissions.

Main causes for forest degradation:

They are broadly classified into three main sources, they are Gathering fuel wood – Collecting the woods by individuals for local use and for commercial use in the urban areas directly as charcoals, Timber harvesting and Fire.

Some of the methods to combat degradation include, reduced impact logging, integrated fire management, improved forest governance, fuel wood management and forest certification

 

REDD Major Players:

The REDD activities are under taken by some NGO’s, private sectors, national or local governments or any combination of these. The genuine actors of REDD, however, will be the populations whose livelihoods derive from forests.

REDD is pushed strongly by the World Bank and the United Nations for setting up the bases for the carbon market and the legal and governance frameworks of countries receiving REDD. The World Banks Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the UN-REDD Programme, and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative are such e.g.

Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities will be the front liners of REDD, and the success of REDD activities will largely depend on their engagement.

UNFCCC Discussions on REDD

REDD was first discussed under the UNFCCC in 2005 at the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11). Consideration of the issue has continued since that time. As well as discussions at the yearly COP and at biannual meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies, several UNFCCC workshops have been held: one in Rome, Italy in August 2006, another in Cairns, Australia in March 2007 and another in Tokyo, Japan in June 2008.

Key issues discussed have included:

•              The causes of deforestation;

•              Policy tools for REDD, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation;

•              Ways to provide incentives for REDD, including financial mechanisms; and technical issues associated with measuring.

REDD Benefits:

Capacity building opportunities for local communities

Poverty alleviation

Greater financial flow into developing countries

Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests

Sustaining/ preserving ecosystem service

Biodiversity conservation

Watershed protection and soil conservation

REDD objective:

It is a multi path way process and all the objectives are interrelated to each other.

Establishment of protected areas

Strict and effective implementation of forest laws

Use of agro forestry, reduced impact logging

Incentives to the land owners to not cut down trees or degrade forest

Country wise specific information on REDD:

Germany:

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries in a Post 2012 Climate Regime

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/methodologies/other/application/pdf/redd_uba_final_report_final_040908_cor.pdf

Australia:

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and International Forest Carbon Initiative [IFCI]

http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/international/redd.aspx

Norway:

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/country_specific_information/application/pdf/redd_oar_english.pdf

Guyana:

“Preparing Guyana’s REDD+ participation: Developing capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification”

http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/guyana_mrv_workshop_report_nov09.pdf

Reference:

Pictures:

http://www.myclimatechange.net/UserImage/3/ArroundTheWorld/DeforestationMap.jpg

Websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Framework_Convention_on_Climate_Change

http://www.redd-monitor.org/tag/redd-in-the-news/

http://www.hedon.info/docs/REDD_Casebook-TNC-CI-WCS.pdf

http://www.un-redd.org/Portals/15/documents/events/20090309Panama/Documents/UN-REDD%20Strategic%20Overview%203Ma09.pdf

http://unfccc.int/methods_science/redd/items/4531.php

http://www.slideshare.net/pallavip/reducing-emissions-from-deforestation-and-forest-degradation

http://www.unutki.org/downloads/File/Publications/REDDPocketGuide_web.pdf

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/06/carbon-emissions-forest-degradation-just-as-bad-deforestation.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CCS Projects in United Kingdom

Posted by on Monday, 21 March, 2011

United Kingdom has several projects in CCS. The projects discussed in this paper are

1. Longannet Post Combustion Power plant

2. Ferrybridge Post Combustion Project

3. Powerfuel Hatfield

4. Killingholme Pre Combustion Project

5. Hunterston

 

Longannet Post Combustion Power Plant:

Longannet is the second largest power plant in UK and third largest coal-fired power station in Europe, generating 2400 MW of electricity. It is located on the upper Firth of Forth, close to the Central North Sea – an area that the best science shows is ideally suited to CO2 storage. The plant will produce 2 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide which will be transported by pipeline for storage in geological formations.  Longannet project is one of two projects still competing for funding in the first round of the UK government’s competition to demonstrate CCS in a coal-fired power station by 2014. Pre-feasibility was completed in 2009.  In March 2010 it was selected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as one of the two final bids in the UK.

The CO2 will be piped to the central North Sea oil/gas fields for safe storage. A detailed 12 month Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study is currently being carried out. Longannet is one of the 2 finalists, along with Kingsnorth, to receive 1 billion pounds for the UK CCS demonstration.

Facts:

Company/Alliance: Scottish Power, Shell, National Grid, Aker Clean Carbon

Location: Firth of Forth, Fife, Scotland, UK

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 330MW

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Amine

Year of Operation: 2014

 

Ferrybridge Post Combustion Project:

In March 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was awarded funding of £6.3 million towards trialling post-combustion carbon capture technology at its Ferrybridge power station in West Yorkshire. Construction work is under way, with the trial itself expected to commence in 2011 and be complete by the end of 2012. The pilot project will collect around 100 tonnes of CO2 per day from a flue gas slipstream corresponding to about 5MW of electric power, and the technology will use an amine solvent that will be recycled after the CO2 has been extracted.

Facts:

Company/Alliance: Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), Doosan Babcock, Siemens, and UK Coal

Location: Ferrybridge Station, West Yorkshire, England, UK

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 500 MW- Retrofit with supercritical boiler and turbine, 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year captured and stored

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Amine

Year of Operation: 2011

 

Powerfuel Hatfield:

Powerfuel Power plans to build and operate a state-of-the-art 900MW integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant with CCS. In December 2009, the project was awarded funding of up to €180 million from the European Commission’s European Economic Recovery Plan. The venture has already completed a full FEED study and site preparation work is under way. Construction will take three to four years over two phases – the first phase allowing the plant to operate on natural gas until the second-phase coal gasification island with carbon capture is complete. At this stage, the plant will capture about 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The lifespan of the project will require storage of 190 million tonnes.

 

Facts:

Company/Alliance: Powerfuel, Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU), and Shell UK

Location: Hatfield Colliery, South Yorkshire, England, UK

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 900MW

Capture Method: Pre Combustion

Capture Technology: IGCC

Year of Operation: 2014

 

Killingholme Pre Combustion Project:

Killingholme is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) comprising two 450MW modules giving a total generation capacity of 900MW. Following a period of mothballing, Killingholme Power Station was returned to service in 2005.This was the first time in the UK that a plant has been successfully returned to service following mothballing. The company had planned to fit pre-combustion carbon capture within a second phase at the proposed ₤1-billion “clean coal” power plant, with depleted gas fields under the North Sea earmarked as potential storage sites.

Facts:

Company/Alliance: E.ON UK, Powergen

Location: Killingholme, in Lincolnshire, UK

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 450MW

Capture Method: Pre Combustion

Capture Technology: IGCC

Hunterston:

In 2008 Peel Energy and DONG Energy established Ayrshire Power Limited as a joint venture to explore the possibility of building a 1600 MW power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire. The Power station would burn both coal and biomass to produce up to 1852 MW of electricity. The current plans deal only with onsite carbon capture infrastructure, with the remaining offshore elements of the chain – transportation and storage – to be covered by future applications. The development includes two operating power units of 926MW capacity each, and a demonstration carbon capture unit with associated gas transfer plant. The operator will feed electricity into the UK’s National Grid.

Facts:

Company/Alliance: Ayrshire Power Limited

Location: Hunterston, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 1600MW

Capture Method: Post Combustion

Capture Technology: Ammonia

Year of Operation: 2017

 

Other CCS projects in United Kingdom:

DECARBit project:

The DECARBit project links 21 partners from 10 European countries to fast track the development of pre-combustion carbon capture technologies for fossil fuel power plants – from experimental to full pilot testing stages. In 2010, the project entered its second phase, where pilot testing of selected pre-combustion capture technologies focuses on pre-combustion separation, oxygen separation and hydrogen combustion.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/decarbit-project

RWE npower – Blyth post-combustion project:

This is a feasibility study by RWE npower to build a 2400 MW supercritical clean coal power station on the site of the former Blyth Power Station. The new station would save over 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year with facilities to burn carbon neutral fuels such as biomass at a later date. The power station would also be built carbon capture ready (post-combustion).

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/rwe-npower-2013-blyth-post-combustion-project

Progressive Energy – Teesside pre-combustion project:

This is a project by Progressive Energy to potentially develop a 800 MW clean coal project with pre- combustion carbon capture and storage. Two new companies have been set up; Coastal Energy which will own the power station, and COOTS Ltd, which will own the CO2 pipeline assets.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/progressive-energy-2013-teesside-pre-combustion-project

RWE npower – Tilbury post-combustion project:

RWE npower has announced a feasibility study into the construction of a 1000 MW supercritical coal power station at Tilbury, Essex. The plant would incorporate post-combustion carbon capture and storage and could be operational by 2016, saving up to 90% of the plants carbon dioxide emissions per year.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/rwe-npower-2013-tilbury-post-combustion-project

RWE npower – Aberthaw post-combustion Project:

This plant is a 3 MW pilot plant, scaling up to 100 MW demonstration plant at Tilbury. RWE’s team included BOC (a Linde Group company), Cansolv Technologies Inc., I.M Skaugen SE, The Shaw Group Inc., and Tullow Oil. I.M.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/rwe-npower-2013-aberthaw-post-combustion-project

Renfrew test facility:

The test facility is stationed in Renfrew, 9.7 km west of Glasgow, Scotland. Doosan Babcock claims this to be the world’s largest carbon capture research facility. This facility uses Solvent Scrubbing Technology to capture CO2 from coal-fired flue gases, through a process of absorption and regeneration.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/renfrew

Kingsnorth post-combustion project:

In March 2010, E.ON’s proposals for Carbon Capture and Storage received part-funding from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change towards a FEED study. Around the same time, the company submitted plans seeking environmental approval of a CO2 pipeline that would form part of the project. However, in October 2010, E.ON withdrew Kingsnorth from the government’s CCS competition, citing economic hurdles to the construction of the power plant. Its plans remain on hold.

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/e.on-2013-kingsnorth-post-combustion-project

Department of Energy and Climate Change:

On March 17, 2010 a new office for CCS was started inside Department of Energy & Climate Change. The Office will set the strategic path for the use of CCS, facilitate the delivery of the demonstration programme, create the policy and support arrangements to stimulate private sector investment, and work with stakeholders to remove barriers to investment and development in the UK and globally. It will also look to maximize the domestic and global opportunities for UK businesses and the economy to benefit.

The Office is staffed by a dedicated team of Civil Servants, who are focused on helping to deliver CCS by:

  • Facilitating the development of CCS technology, including the UK demonstration programme,  innovation and funding
  • Working with stakeholders to ensure the wider framework for delivering CCS in the UK exists, including regulation, UK skills and capacity
  • Raising levels of understanding about CCS within governments, industry and public
  • Coordinating strategy and policy on CCS, including the wider potential for application to gas generation and industrial processes
  • Leading on the development of a roadmap, to guide future actions of CCS

 

UK Carbon Capture and Storage Community (UKCCSC):

UKCCSC is a collective of over 250 engineering, technological, natural, environmental, social and economic academic members with CCS interests. There are also roughly 250 industry, governmental and NGO stakeholders who are interested in UKCCSC and contribute to this diverse and vibrant network.

Objectives of UKCCSC:

  • Provide an  open forum for CCS academics to share results from ongoing work.
  • Produce online resources and a regular newsletter to encourage communication and facilitate dissemination of research outcomes.
  • Support earlier career researchers in their development through a targeted programme and participation in other UKCCSC activities.
  • Enable expansion of the academic CCS R&D community in the UK through active engagement of established academics who wish to broaden or redirect their skills to contribute towards R&D on CCS.
  • Improve communication of key research outcomes from the UK CCS R&D community to broad range of stakeholders.

 

UKCCSC is run by a secretariat (based at the University of Edinburgh) with strategic guidance provided by an Advisory Committee and an International Reference User Group. Academic members are comprised of over 250 engineering, technological, natural, environmental, social and economic academic members with CCS interests. Additionally, industry, governmental and NGO stakeholders contribute a further 250 to this growing network.

Current UK CCS Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Finding money to pay for Co2 emission reductions
  • Cost – effective businesses to deliver value
  • Co2 storage – liability issues and the role of government (but many problems avoided by going offshore)
  • Effective injection, storage and monitoring
  • Delivering value from offshore EOR – build on free C02
  • Post Combustion Capture Technology for retrofit
  • Second generation reference plants by 2020

 

The UK Energy Ministry received 9 applications for EU funding to build carbon capture projects in Britain with around 4.5 billion euros at stake. Europe’s biggest carbon emitting power plant Drax and Franc’s Alstom applied for funding to build a 426MW CCS project.Scottish and Southern Energy applied for funding for Carbon Capture and Storage from a 385MW gas fired unit at its Peterhead power plant in Scotland.Peel Energy had applied for CCS funding for a coal and biomass power station at Hunterston.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/us-britain-ccs-drax-alstom-idUSTRE71938H20110210

 

 

Sources:

http://sequestration.mit.edu/

http://www.ccsassociation.org.uk/ccs_projects/uk_projects.html

http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/resources/projects/longannet-clean-coal-power-station

http://www.eon-uk.com/generation/killingholme.aspx

http://www.peelenergy.co.uk/projects/ayrshire-power-station

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/ccs/occs/occs.aspx

http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/ccs/early-career/gibbins.pdf

http://www.ukccsc.co.uk/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/us-britain-ccs-drax-alstom-idUSTRE71938H20110210

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Sequestration

 


First Carbon Neutral Building in Africa

Posted by on Monday, 21 March, 2011

Carbon neutral buildings are a sub category of low-carbon buildings. Carbon neutral buildings are buildings which are specifically engineered to release no GHG at all or to balance the GHG emissions they produce using GHG trades.

During construction and operation, buildings release GHG in the atmosphere. GHG emissions associated with buildings construction are mainly coming from materials manufacturing, materials transport, demolition wastes transport, demolition wastes treatment etc.

The construction, renovation, and deconstruction of a typical building are on average responsible for the emissions of 1,000-1,500 kgCO2e/m.

GHG emissions from buildings are occurring due to electricity consumption, Consumption of fossil fuels on-site for the production of electricity, hot water, heat, etc., on-site waste water treatment, on-site solid wastes treatment, industrial processes housed in the buildings etc.

Strategies adopted by carbon-neutral buildings to reduce GHG emissions during construction include:

  • Reduce quantity of materials used
  • Select materials with low emissions factors associated (e.g., recycled materials)
  • Select materials suppliers as close as possible from the construction site to reduce transport distances
  • Divert demolition wastes to recycling instead of landfills or incineration

To reduce GHG emissions carbon neutral buildings normally adopt two methods ie by reducing energy consumption or by using 100% renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, wave and tidal etc.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi has become the first carbon-neutral building in Africa by using solar power. A system of over 4,000 modules was installed on the roof of the new UNEP offices by German firm Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH. The 515 kilowatt solar project was connected to the grid on February 21st, and is expected to generate more energy than the 1,200 employees in the building will need.



Solar energy has been something the U.N. has been targeting in Africa for years. And now that the building’s sustainable energy supply is online, it is the largest on-roof solar power system on the continent.

Aldo Leopold Foundation Headquarters, Fairfield (WI):

The Aldo Leopold Foundation Headquarters located in Fairfield, Wisconsin is the first LEED-platinum carbon neutral building. 30 percent of all building materials used on the project are from recycled materials. Also, this building include sustainable features like high efficiency, low – flow plumbing fixtures, Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring systems and composite wood products to improve air quality, Twenty three Solatube skylights on the second floor, Lighting fixtures equipped with occupancy sensors designed to turn off when there is no movement or noise for an extended period of time etc.

 

Kroon Hall, Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies:

Kroon Hall is Yale Universitie’s greenest building. Rainwater harvesting system and cleansing pond, recycled, recyclable, sustainably harvested or manufactured nontoxic materials, natural light and ventilation, geothermal energy system, solar hot water heaters, rooftop solar panels facing south, solar heat gain in winter and natural lighting year round along the long unobstructed south-facing wall, recycling of demolition and construction waste are some of the sustainable features of Kroon Hall building.

To read more about Kroon Hall building visit http://environment.yale.edu/kroon/concept.php

Sources:

http://www.earthtechling.com/2011/03/carbon-neutral-un-building-in-africa-a-first/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_neutral_building

http://www.architecturelist.com/2008/01/25/the-aldo-leopold-foundation-headquarters/

http://www.architecturelist.com/2010/12/07/new-flatiron-headquarters-building/

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon neutral

Fossil Fuels

Greenhouse Gas

 


Carbon Capture Projects in Germany

Posted by on Sunday, 20 March, 2011

Carbon Capture Projects in Germany

Germany has several projects in CCS. The projects discussed in this paper are

1. Vattenfall Oxyfuel Pilot Plant “Schwarze Pumpe”

2. E.ON: Post combustion Capture Plant

3. RWE IGCC Plant with CO2 Storage

4. RWE’s Scrubbing Pilot Plant

5. RWE Goldenbergwerk

6. Vattenfall Oxyfuel and Post combustion Demonstration Plant Janschwalde

7. CO2 SINK: Ketzin

 

Vattenfall Oxyfuel Pilot Plant “Schwarze Pumpe”:

Vattenfall has since 2001 had an R&D project on Oxyfuel technology and in 2006 commissioned a € 70 million 30 MW (thermal) Oxyfuel pilot plant. The CCS pilot plant will produce about 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year at full load. The separated and liquefied CO2 produced by the pilot plant might be transferred to the CO2 carbon storage facility in the Altmark gas field.

 

The plants consists of a steam generator with a single 30MW top-mounted pulverised coal burner and the subsequent flue gas cleaning equipment, That is, electrostatic precipitator, wet flue gas desulphurisation and the flue gas condenser.

Operation of the pilot plant commenced operation in September 2008 and the plant is expected to be in operation for 3 years. Further expansion plans include a 250 to 300 MW plant around 2012-2015 and a 1000 MW plant around 2015-2020.

Pilot plant construction continues (2007), Pilot plant commissioning happened in (2008). Plant’s operation started early in 2009. Operation will be closed in the year (2014)

Fact:

Company/Alliance: Vattenfall, Gaz de France

Location: Pilot Plant, Schwarze Pumpe, south-east of Berlin, Germany

Feedstock: Coal (lignite)

Process: Pulverized dry lignite and bituminous coal. The bituminous coal will be tested later.

Size: 30 MW Pilot Plant, 300 MW demo plant, 1000 MW commercial plant

 

 

E.ON: Post combustion Capture Plant:

E.ON plans to pursue the development of post combustion technologies with a budget of € 100 million until 2014.  Four of its seven projects are planned in Germany in cooperation with Siemens, Flur, Consolv and Mitsubishi.  The technology uses monoethanolamine as the solvent for efficient capture of CO2.

 

One of the projects is located at E.ON’s coal fired power plant in Wilhelmshaven and is scheduled to start operation in 2010.  Flor and E.ON Energy have formed a strategic partnership for the development of a retrofitted pilot plant using Flour’s Econamine FG+ technology. The technology uses monoethanolamine as the solvent for efficient capture of CO2.

The pilot plant will be small in scale with only 5.5 MW. In North Rhine Westphalia E.ON Energy will work together with Canadian Cansolv Technologies at its location in Heyden. The objective of this project is again to improve efficiency of post combustion by testing different solvents

Facts:

Country: Germany

Project type: Capture

Scale: Small

Status: Under construction

Capital cost: € 10 million

Year of operation: 2010

Industry: Coal Power Plant

MW capacity: 5.5 MW

Capture method: Post-combustion

Capture technology: Other

Transport of CO2 by: none

Type of storage: Not decided

 

RWE IGCC Plant with CO2 Storage:

In April 2006 RWE announced the development of an IGCC coal or lignite fuelled power plant. The power plant is expected to have a gross output of 450 MW and integrate CO2 capture and storage.  Capture rates are expected to be about 92% or 100g/Kwh net.

 

If successfully implemented, the plant will be scaled up to produce 1000 MW.RWE is planning to operate the plant by 2014.  Investment costs have risen to € 2 billion in this project. RWE plans to store some 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is currently assessing 3 different locations in the North of Germany for appropriate storage capacity.

 

In 2008 RWE started the exploration phase and if permissions are granted seismic investigations will start 2009. RWE is also planning to build a pipeline from the plant location in Hürth, in North Rheine Westphalia to Schleswig Holstein.

Since the location is well connected to open cast mines, raw lignite will be the fuel of this power plant. To reduce the water content pre drying will be applied to bring down the moisture content to 12%. As previously mentioned the power plant is expected to have a gross output of 450 MW, with an efficiency of 36% and integrate CO2 capture. Currently this project is in the regional planning procedure.

 

 

Facts:
Country :Germany

Project type: Capture Storage

Capital cost: € 2 billion

Year of operation: 2015

Industry: Coal Power Plant
MW capacity: 450

Capture method: Pre-combustion

New or retrofit: New

Transport of CO2 by: none

Storage site: North of Germany

Type of storage: Not decided

Volume: 2 600 000 tonnes/CO2

 

RWE’s Scrubbing Pilot Plant:

German utility RWE operates a pilot-scale CO2 scrubber at the lignite-fired Niederaubem power station built in cooperation with BASF (supplier of detergent) and Linde engineering.

The height of the pilot CO2 scrubbing plant (40 m) corresponds to that of the future commercial plant. The plant also comprises all individual components of large plants, but on a smaller scale. The diameter of the absorber column was limited to the size required to obtain representative results.

 

Depending on the set test parameters, up to 300 kg CO2 per hour can be separated from a flue gas bypass (corresponds to a capture rate of 90 %). An extensive investigation programme conducted under real operating conditions to test the new CO2 solvents developed by BASF will be completed in early 2010.

Facts:

Country : Germany

Project type: Capture

Scale: Small

Status: Under construction

Capital cost: € 9 million

Year of operation: 2009

Industry: Coal Power Plant
Capture method: Post-combustion

Capture technology: Amine
Transport of CO2 by: none

Type of storage: Not decided

Volume: 2 000 tonnes/CO2

 

RWE Goldenbergwerk:

RWE Power is working with RWE Dea to use their knowledge of the exploration of oil and gas for storing natural gas to find suitable geological formations on or offshore. RWE Power is making €2 billion (US$ 2.7 billion) available for its climate protection program until 2014, including spending money on renewable energy and CO2 reduction in developing countries. The chosen site is the Goldenbergwerk site. RWE Dea plans to investigate suitable storage locations in Schleswig-Holstein.

Total cost is €2 billion (US$2.577 billion). RWE has already committed €1 billion ( US $1.3 billion) with €800 million (US$ 1.1 billion) for the power plant and €200 million (US$ 280 million) for the pipeline and CO2 storage operations.

Power Plant – Phase 1: project development (2006-2008); Phase 2: engineering and approval procedure (2008-2010); Phase 3: construction (2010-2014) and commercial operation (2015).

 

Facts:

Company/Alliance: BASF, RWE Power and the Linde Group

Location: Hürth, near Cologne, Germany

Feedstock: Coal (lignite)

Size: 450 MW Gross, 360 MW Net, 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year captured and stored

Capture Technology: IGCC/Pre-combustion

CO2 Fate: Sequestration in saline reservoir

 

Vattenfall Oxyfuel and Post combustion Demonstration Plant Janschwalde:

Germanys Vattenfall build a demonstration plant for Carbon capture and Storage technologies at one of the 500 MW blocks of the conventional lignite power plant Janschwalde, in the state of Brandenburg; the Project was started in May 2008.

 

The Janschwalde lignite power plant consists of six 500 MW blocks. For the demonstration plant one of the blocks, consisting of two boilers, will be equipped with CCS. One boiler will be newly built with an oxy-fuel technology; the other will be retrofitted with a post combustion technology.

The investment for the demonstration is estimated to be € 1 billion. The demonstration plant will produce 300 MW.

The project was announced in May 2008; Feasibility studies were performed in the same year (2008); Application for permits (2009); Construction of new boiler is said to happen in (2011); Full scale Operation to be completed in the year (2015).

 

Facts:

Company/Alliance: Vattenfall

Location: Janschwalde, Brandenburg, Germany

Feedstock: Coal (lignite) from nearby opencast mines.

Process: Pulverized coal (PC) boilers combusting lignite

Size: 250 MW/ 500MW in future [estimated].

Capture Technology: Oxyfuel combustion and post-combustion

CO2 Fate: Onshore Saline formation

 

 

CO2 SINK: Ketzin (Germany)

GFZ Potsdam, as part of the European research project, CO2SINK, began storing CO2 in aquifers at a depth of 600 meters on June 30, 2008.  It plans to store up to 60,000 tons of CO2 over two years, at a cost of €15 million.

 

 

The CO2SINK  integrated  project,  is  supported  under  the  FP/6  framework  by  the  EU  commission with a budget of € 14 million, and is the first European Showcase for Onshore CO2 storage. The main objective is to monitor behaviour of CO2 injected into a saline aquifer at 600 meter depth near Berlin. By the end of July 2009, 18.417 tons have been successfully injected.

 

Facts:

Country: Germany

Project type: Storage

Scale: Small

Status: Operative

Financial support: FP/6 framework

Year of operation: 2008-2011

Transport of CO2 by: Road

Type of storage: Aquifers

Cumulative injected: 43.405 tonnes /CO2.

 

Reference:

http://sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/index_projects_announced.html

http://www.gassnova.no/frontend/files/CONTENT/CCSWorld/IN-report-issue6-2009.pdf

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/countries/germany

http://sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/index.html

http://www.nma.org/ccs/ccsprojects.asp

Fact sheet:

RWE’s Scrubbing Pilot Plant:

http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/2734/rwe/innovations/power-generation/clean-coal/co2-scrubbing/

Picture:

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/rwe2019s-scrubbing-pilot-plant-in-cooperation-with-basf-and-linde/image/image_view_fullscreen

Schwarze Pumpe:

http://www.vattenfall.com/en/ccs/index.htm

Picture:

http://www.zero.no/ccs/capture/capture-technology/post-combustion/VattenfallPilot.jpg/image_preview

http://www.unece.org/energy/se/pp/EnCom15/29Nov/CMM/BERGMANN_UNECE_EnComm15_2006_h_bw.pdf

Vattenfall Janschwalde

http://www.europeanenergyforum.eu/Plone/upload/ccs.pdf

http://www.vattenfall.com/en/ccs/janschwalde.htm

Co2 sink

http://www.co2sink.org/index.html

http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/portal/gfz/home;jsessionid=DAE1A2E190C79EE3499ECD37F50859CA

Picture:

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/co2sink-ketzin/image/image_view_fullscreen

RWE IGCC Plant with CO2 Storage

http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/2688/rwe/innovations/power-generation/clean-coal/igcc-ccs-power-plant/

Picture:

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/rwe-igcc-plant-with-co2-storage/image/image_view_fullscreen

E on Post combustion Process reference:

http://www.eon.com/de/businessareas/35244.jsp

Picture:

http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/ccsproject.2009-11-03.9120525836/image/image_view_fullscreen

Vattenfall Oxyfuel and Post combustion Demonstration Plant Janschwalde:

Picture:

http://www.vattenfall.com/en/ccs/file/370x180_Janschwalde_10414212.jpg

 

Related terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and storage

Carbon Sink

CO2 Scrubber

Carbon Sequestration

 

 

 

 


SF6 Sulfur Hexafluoride

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6

Sulfur hexafluoride [SF6] is an inorganic colourless, odourless, liquefied, non-toxic and non-flammable greenhouse gas. It is shipped as a liquid under its own vapour pressure. It is generally transported as a liquefied compressed gas.

It has an octahedral geometry, consisting of six fluorine atoms attached to a central sulfur atom.

It is a hypervalent molecule – a molecule that contains one or more typical elements (group 1, 2, 13-18) formally bearing more than eight electrons in their valence shells.

Typical for a non-polar gas, it is poorly soluble in water but soluble in non-polar organic solvents. Sf6 is 5 times denser than air. It has a density of 6.12 g/L at sea level conditions, which is considerably higher than the density of air.

Method of Preparation:

The only industrial process currently in use is the synthesis of sulphur hexafluoride by allowing fluorine obtained by electrolysis to react with sulphur according to the exothermic reaction:

S + 3F2 → SF6 [+ 262 kcal]

During this reaction, a certain number of other fluorides of sulphur are formed, such as SF4, SF2, S2F2, S2F10, as well as impurities due to the presence of moisture, air and the carbon anodes used for the fluorine electrolysis. These by products are removed by various purification processes.

There is virtually no reaction chemistry for SF6. We can prepare it from the elements through “exposure of S8 to F2”.

 

There are also other methods to prepare- Sulfur fluorides are cogenerated, but these are removed by heating the mixture to disproportionate any S2F10 [which is highly toxic, unlike SF6 are non poisonous and odourless] and then scrubbing the product with NaOH to destroy remaining SF4

“[S2F10 – SF4=SF6]”.

Properties of SF6:

Molecular Weight of SF6

  • Molecular weight  : 146.05 g/mol
  • 5 times denser than air

Specific Gravity:

  • 5.11 @ 68 F

Specific Volume:

  • 2.5 cu.ft./lb @ 70 F

Solid phase- Latent heat of Fusion

  • Latent heat of fusion (1,013 bar, at triple point) : 39.75 kJ/kg

Liquid phase

  • Latent heat of vaporization (1.013 bar at boiling point) : 162.2 kJ/kg
  • Vapour pressure (at 21 °C or 70 °F) : 21.5 bar
  • Liquid density (at triple point) : 1880 kg/m3
  • Boiling point (Sublimation) : -63.9 °C

Gaseous phase

  • Gas density (1.013 bar and 15 °C (59 °F)) : 6.27 kg/m3
  • Heat capacity at constant pressure (Cp) (1.013 bar and 21 °C (70 °F)) : 0.097 kJ/(mol.K)
  • Compressibility Factor (Z) (1.013 bar and 15 °C (59 °F)) : 0.9884
  • Specific gravity (air = 1) (1.013 bar and 21 °C (70 °F)) : 5.114
  • Viscosity (1.013 bar and 0 °C (32 °F)) : 0.000142 Poise
  • Thermal conductivity (1.013 bar and 0 °C (32 °F)) : 12.058 mW/(m.K)
  • Specific volume (1.013 bar and 21 °C (70 °F)) : 0.156 m3/kg

Critical point

  • Critical pressure  : 37.59 bar
  • Critical temperature  : 45.5 °C

Triple point

  • Triple point temperature  : -49.4 °C
  • Triple point pressure  : 2.26 bar

Solubility in Water

  • Solubility in water (20 °C and 1 bar) : 0.007 vol/vol

 

Green House Gas Concerns of SF6:

SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 22,800 times that of CO2. SF6 is an anthropogenically produced compound, mainly used as a gaseous dielectric in gas insulated switchgear power installations. Given the low amounts of SF6 released compared to carbon dioxide, its overall contribution to global warming is estimated to be less than 0.2 percent. Sulfur hexafluoride is also extremely long-lived – they remain in the atmosphere for longer period than any other compound. SF6 acting as green house gas can have a heavy impact on the Global climate, and its concentration in the earth atmosphere is rapidly increasing. It is inert in the troposphere and stratosphere and has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 800–3200 years. Sf6’s anthropogenic sources are di- electric mediums.

Health and Physiological effects:

During its working cycle, SF6 decomposes under electrical stress, forming toxic by-products that are a health threat for working personnel in the event of exposure. The danger with sulfur hexafluoride is that the degeneration products can be toxic, causing nausea and vomiting, pulmonary symptoms, and transient atelectasis. It may be contaminated with other fluorides of sulfur, such as sulfur pentafluoride and disulfur decafluoride, which are extremely toxic and are respiratory irritants. The gas can be inhaled in a small, safe amount and cause the breather’s voice to sound very deep. This is due to the gas’s large molar mass. It is possible to safely breathe sulfur hexafluoride – heavy gas as long as they include a 20% mixture of oxygen. Repeated high exposures can cause deposits of fluorides in the bones (fluorosis) that may cause pain, disability and mottling of the teeth. Repeated exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or constipation. Nosebleeds and sinus problems can also occur.

Precautions:

1. Oxy-fluoride levels or other by-product concentrations in the operating gas matrix should be traced to predetermine the overall gas toxicity

2. Contaminants should be systematically considered during maintenance, chamber evacuation and system opening process;

3. Small SF6 quantities leaking into air or stagnated pollutant concentrations in the operating field should be analyzed and compared to the threshold limit values and permissible exposure levels.

Uses of SF6

The unique properties of SF6 have led to its adoption for a number of industrial and scientific applications including,

  1. Medical applications: electrical insulation in medical equipment (e.g. X-ray machines), or surgery,
  2. Electrical insulation in scientific equipment: (electron microscopes, particle accelerators such as Van der Graf generators),
  3. Acoustic insulation in double glazed windows
  4. Tracer gas for studying airflow in ventilation systems (for instance in mines) or in the high atmosphere.
  5. Tracer for leak detection in pressurised systems.
  6. To provide a special atmosphere for metallurgical processing (aluminium and magnesium) for military purpose.

 

References:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/hats/insitu/cats/conc/mlosf6.html

http://www.euractiv.com/en/sustainability/climate-meps-give-gas-bill-green-boost/article-145749

http://encyclopedia.airliquide.com/Encyclopedia.asp?GasID=34

http://www.asria.org/events/hongkong/05sept/index_html/lib/gail_kendall.pdf

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/r?dbs+hsdb:@term+@rn+2551-62-4

Fact sheet:

http://www.c-f-c.com/specgas_products/sulfurhex_sf6.htm

http://www.asria.org/events/hongkong/05sept/index_html/lib/gail_kendall.pdf

http://encyclopedia.airliquide.com/Encyclopedia.asp?GasID=34

http://www.advancedspecialtygases.com/Dowloadable%20Files/SF6.pdf

http://www.advancedspecialtygases.com/Dowloadable%20Files/msds/SF6%20ASG.pdf

Pictures:

http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/wp-content/uploads/sf6-molecule-structure.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Sulfur-hexafluoride-2D-dimensions.png/566px-Sulfur-hexafluoride-2D-dimensions.png

http://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/soriaga/FYC/HTML_Presentation_folder8/img050.jpg

 

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Sulphur Hexafluoride

Greenhouse Gas

Global Warming

 

 

 

 

 


Carbon capture technologies should move faster now !

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

The nuke disaster in Japan is going to change the energy mix of the world soon.

The emphasize on renewables like solar, wind, geo thermal, tidal, wave, hydro etc will now become more.

For the earth quake and the tsunami that hit Japan climate change is probably not the reason. Nor the green house gasses. Probably not even the enhanced ppm of co2 in the atmosphere.

The need for speeding up the carbon capture from coal powered plants is now even more than ever before, now that nuke is going to take the back seat. Atleast for a while.
The CCS technology has to be perfected and implemented as soon as one can.

Carbon capture and sequestration technology for retro fitting of existing power plants also need to be hastened.

Nuclear  power provides about 6% of the world’s energy and 13–14% of the world’s electricity.

The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of USA has begun research under the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), partnering with other national laboratories, universities, and industry to develop state-of-the-art computational modeling and simulation tools to accelerate commercialization of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

CCSI is one of three areas of research under the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative announced late last year by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The others involve developing validation data and experimental work, and developing methodology and simulation tools to assess risk.

Both the above are good news for the CCS industry. The need for them to move fast  is very high.

Certainly extensions of old nuclear plants will get delayed or more likely, get terminated. All the new plants will also get delayed and many will get cancelled.
Newer and stricter regulations and laws will ensure that many nuclear projects may get put off or not permitted.
Many under developed and less developed countries may go for coal based power plants.
This is not going to help CO2 emission reduction.

CCS will have to come to the rescue immediately. CCS is not going to generate new electricity.

It can help new coal plants fitted with CCS get operational as coal still remains cheap.

To do carbon capture and storage on a temporary basis is expensive .  At present NETL, CCSI and several private players as well as government bodies are planning to capture carbon and store it as geological sequestration or as ocean sequestration. Technology is being perfected for carbon capture, liquefaction, transportation and storage.

 

Many stringent stipulations that will come into being for nuclear power plants will also apply for coal powered plants.

Therefore CCS will gain importance and hence the need to reduce the time to market of CCS technologies.

Objections  to Carbon capture and sequestration may be a little less than for a new nuclear plant.

If the concept is to store Co2,  temporarily till such time such time new processes for products from co2 are conceived, then it will be a great idea.

However, there is a great need to capture co2 and store it quickly.

CCSI will utilize a software infrastructure to accelerate the development and deployment cycle for bringing new, cost-effective CCS technologies to market in several important ways. The operative term is quick.

Promising concepts will be more quickly identified through rapid computational screening of devices and processes.

The time and expense to design and troubleshoot new devices and processes will be reduced through science-based optimal designs.

The technical risk in taking technology from laboratory-scale to commercial-scale will be more accurately quantified.

Deployment costs will be quantified more quickly by replacing some of the physical operational tests with virtual power plant simulations.

CCS is critical to curb climate change. Capture co2 from power plants and industrial facilities, and store it to prevent the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.DOE has started a number of programs to promote CCS, including the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative.

CCSI will develop a set of tools that can simulate scale-up of a broad suite of new carbon capture technologies, from laboratory to commercial scale.  In its first 5 years CCSI will focus on oxy-combustion and post-combustion capture.

CCSI will be using solid sorbents and advanced solvents. Pulverized coal power plants, which currently generate nearly half of USA’s electricity and are expected to emit 95percent of the United State’s coal-based CO2 emissionsbetween 2010 and 2030.

The CCSI is led by NETL.  CCSI thus leverages the core strengths of DOE’s national laboratories in modeling and simulation. The project brings together talent from several well known research centres like NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The CCSI’s initial industrial partners are ADA Environmental Solutions, Alstom Power, Ameren, Babcock Power, Babcock & Wilcox, Chevron, EPRI, Eastman, Fluor, General Electric, Ramgen Power Systems, and Southern Company.

There is this globalccsinstitute in Australia. The Institute connects parties around the world to address issues and learn from each other to accelerate the deployment of CCS projects. The global ccs institute too should get more funding and should fund/ lend more projects to start CCS.

Now, all these Government organisations of CCS,  may have to hasten their plans to reach out.
Similarly RECS the organization that fosters and advances education, scientific research, professional training and career networks for graduate students and young professionals in the CCS field.

They may need to look at training more people quickly.

The CCSI’s academic participants—Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Penn State University, Princeton University, and West Virginia University—bring unparalleled expertise in multiphase flow reactors, combustion, process synthesis and optimization, planning and scheduling, and process control techniques for energy processes. CCSI’s academic  section is pretty wide and very impressive. But it needs to move truly fast .

No sequestered carbon dioxide has any guarantee against earth quakes and tsunamis. However if the storage is made in zones that are less prone to earthquakes, it will be a lot safer.

With such solid backing of well known participants with proven capabilities, it is hoped that the carbon capture and storage technologies are moved forward faster than ever before as the need is now more than ever before.

CSLF set up in South Africa. The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) is a Ministerial-level internationalclimate change initiative that is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for theseparation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) for its transport and long-term safe storage. Organisations like CSLF in all countries should change their road map for ccs and speeden up. Time is of essence.
These organisations also need to invest on research in CO2 to products immediately.

CCS plus ‘ co2 to products ‘ is the  way to go !

http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/press/2011/110216-RECS_2011_Carbon%20Capture.html

http://www.globalccsinstitute.com

http://www.co2captureandstorage.info

http://www.cslforum.org/

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse Gas

Climate Change

Carbon Sequestration

 



Carbon capture and storage to commence in India with NTPC

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

National Thermal power corporation is an Indian company with expertise in power utilities, is better known as NTPC Ltd  in India.

 

Toshiba is the largest supplier of nuclear reactors in Japan. Given what has happened in Japan regarding the nuke melt down due to the earthquake and tsunami, Toshiba has to go slow on its nuclear division.

Whether the world is going to stop nuclear plants or not, there is going to be a slow down in new nuclear plants and in renewing old plants.

 

NTPC  is in talks with Toshiba Corp to build a pilot project in India to capture and store carbon emissions.

The Japanese power-equipment maker, Toshiba plans to develop its first 5-Mw carbon capture plant in India by 2016. This was confirmed by  Toshiba India Private Ltd Managing Director, Kenji Urai.

The project may be similar to the one set to start this year at a 47-Mw plant at Mikawa, Japan.

India plans to add about 64,000 Mw, or the equivalent of more than 50 new nuclear plants, in coal-fired electric plants in the five years through 2017. The country is seeking ways to reduce carbondioxide emissions, after agreeing to reduce the greenhouse gas in proportion to gross domestic product by 25 percent, compared to levels in 2005, by 2020.

 

It makes sense for India to build coal power plants with CCS technology.

Already the Government is facing stiff resistance for a coal fired power plant in Srikakulam, near Andhra.

India is a power starved country. India is probably the 5th largest co2 emitter. However, on a percapita basis, they are far below most other industrialised nations.

Carbon capture-and-storage technology typically traps emissions and pumps these underground, for what its promoters say is safe, permanent storage. So far, it has mostly been used in pilot projects and for storing only a portion of total plant emissions.

 

Critics say the cost is too high for its benefits. It’s certainly not economically feasible because  when with the  CCS equipment pre- fitted to a coal-based plant, it would double the investment.

Toshiba, Japan’s largest supplier of nuclear reactors, entered the Indian power market through a joint venture with Indian power utility JSW Energy Ltd.

 

Toshiba plans to sell $400 million of power-generation equipment in India by 2015. Through two joint ventures, Toshiba and JSW will open a plant in Chennai in July, to produce 3,000 Mw of boilers and turbines a year.

The joint venture is expecting orders from NTPC for four 660-Mw turbines this year and has already received orders for two 660-Mw turbines and generators from the Essar Group for its coal-fired Salaya plant in Gujarat.

The International Energy Agency supports carbon capture as a measure to limit greenhouse gases.

What happens when an earthquake hits the carbon geo sequestered, no one knows.

If  the leakage is slow, perhaps there will be time to do some damage control.

If all the co2 rushes out abruptly, it can cause mind boggling damage to mankind and climate.

The world needs about 3,400 projects,  by 2050 to reduce emissions.

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse gas