Archive for category CO2 Capture

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)


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


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.



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.


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).



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).



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.



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.



Fact sheet:

RWE’s Scrubbing Pilot Plant:


Schwarze Pumpe:


Vattenfall Janschwalde

Co2 sink;jsessionid=DAE1A2E190C79EE3499ECD37F50859CA


RWE IGCC Plant with CO2 Storage


E on Post combustion Process reference:


Vattenfall Oxyfuel and Post combustion Demonstration Plant Janschwalde:



Related terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and storage

Carbon Sink

CO2 Scrubber

Carbon Sequestration





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 !


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


Capture of CO2 emissions by cultivating algae in UK

Posted by on Wednesday, 9 March, 2011

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Redcar has linked up with engineering giant Arup by growing algae which naturally draws in carbon dioxide, and using it to produce environmentally friendly products. The organisations have developed a system of using algae, which draws on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by power stations and factories.

CPI is a technology innovation centre that uses market knowledge and technology understanding to develop and prototype products and processes quickly and efficiently with minimal risk to its public and private sector partners. The Government prospect to introduce carbon taxes to companies that produce large amount of Co2 prompted them to take keen interest in the development of cost effective carbon capture technology.

The scientist are trying to find out what volume of CO2 the process can fix, which algae works best, and how efficient it can become. According to project manager, Chris Gilbert from CPI, this is more effective than capturing Co2 using other methods and transporting it hundreds of miles away, but there is a lot of work to be done to prove that.

If successful, the system developed by CPI and Arup will allow the biomass from algae to be recycled and used to produce a large variety of products.

These could provide an additional source of revenue to offset carbon capping investment which includes bioethanol – which can be used as a motor fuel, biopharmaceuticals, the biofuel methane rich biogas – reducing dependence on fossil fuels, rich compost, a non-chemical soil conditioner for crop production etc.

Peter Head, Director and Global Head of Planning at Arup said: “The use of algae in this way could have a vast impact on the environment. It not only has the potential to reduce the carbon dioxide that power plants emit by 70 to 80 per cent – improving their carbon footprint. The algae could potentially provide an alternative source of fuel in itself, and through its by-products, a new revenue stream to support investment in carbon capture technologies.”

Dr Graham Hillier, Low Carbon Energy Director, at CPI said: “The roll-out will be a great challenge for the process development and construction industries. Government and business, working together, must show leadership, ownership and commitment to attract investment and build technological capability. We are planning a rapid research and development programme to move the concept from small-scale testing to larger scale demonstration. We are also looking at ways of integrating the processes into existing power supply and waste management systems.”


Algae based Co2 Capture, Carbon Footprint

Emerging carbon capture technologies

Posted by on Wednesday, 9 March, 2011

Carbon capture and storage is the process of capturing carbon dioxide from the industrial flue gas stream and storing it underground in geological formations. In this process, the cost of capturing CO2 alone accounts for 75% of the total costs involved in sequestering the carbon dioxide.  The adoption of CCS is getting delayed due to the high costs of CCS and additional energy requirements. In order to reduce the costs involved in capturing carbon dioxide, researchers and organizations around the world are working on developing new technologies that essentially consumes less energy for capturing CO2 and thus reducing the costs of CCS.

A research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta has developed a new technology using an amines based absorbent called hyperbranched aminosilica (HAS) to allow carbon dioxide capture at much lower energy consumption. Some of the advantages of this technology compared to its peers are as follows:

  • HAS can be reused many times without losing its absorption capacity
  • Low energy requirement compared to liquid amines
  • The solid amines have to be heated to just 110 degrees to release the captured CO2, which translates into 75% lower energy consumption than liquid amines.

The institute is also working on a pilot carbon capture plant in California that aims to capture 2 tons of CO2 per day.

Similarly, a South Korean state laboratory has developed a commercially viable carbon capture system using industrial waste heat that can help power plants cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists at the laboratory said that the oxyfuel combustion system can effectively capture carbon dioxide gases with minimum drop in efficiency. A normal gas turbine power plant has an energy efficiency of around 57% of input but incorporating a carbon capture system; this number falls to 43-45%. That initial tests using the new systems have shown that efficiency rising to over 50% which experts say is the minimum needed for the carbon capture system to become commercially viable. In certain ideal cases, efficiency reached as high as 70% by making maximum use of waste heat and stream that is currently discarded.

Enzyme based Carbon Capture reduces the energy requirement

Posted by on Saturday, 5 March, 2011

Coal fired power plants are the major emitters of carbon dioxide, a significant greenhouse gas. Presently, technology is available to capture the carbon dioxide from the flue gas streams, but it is costly and highly energy consuming. In order to make CCS technology economically and technologically feasible, researchers and organizations across the globe are working towards finding an efficient process that address the aforesaid problems.

Codexis is one such company that has made significant progress towards developing economical, commercial scale technology to reduce carbon emissions from the coal-fired power plants. The president and CEO of Codexis says, “Current carbon capture technology is inefficient and costly, hindering large scale development. It can nearly double the cost of electricity produced and decrease the amount of total plant electricity output.”

Codexis has developed custom enzymes that it claims reduces the energy requirement for carbon dioxide capture. Enzymes developed by the Codexis under the grant have shown to be functional and stable in relatively inexpensive and energy efficient solvents for 24 hours at temperatures up to 750C. use of these enzymes along with solvents in the carbon capture process reduces the energy requirement by nearly 30%.

These reductions are possible through development of customized carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzymes, or biocatalysts.  CA is an enzyme which catalyzes the transfer of carbon dioxide in nature – for example, CA enables carbon dioxide to be released from blood into the lungs during respiration. However, the natural enzyme does not function at the high temperatures and harsh industrial conditions in coal-fired power plant flue gas. Enzyme performance has been improved by about 100,000 times over natural forms of the CA enzyme.

Codexis has developed this technology jointly with CO2 Solution Inc., Quebec, Canada.


Carbon Capture and Storage

Repowering an oil fueled boiler with an oxy combustion coal fueled boiler

Posted by on Friday, 4 March, 2011

FutureGen officials have provided a list of frequently answered questions and responses:

Why is the project moving so quickly? 

Selecting a preferred site and alternative sites has moved on an expedited schedule. The expedited selection was required to help secure federal co-funding for the project. This federal funding, coupled with industrial funding, will bring many new jobs to Illinois for decades to come. It will also help turn the host community into a global center for clean energy technology development.

During the expedited selection process we have been uncompromising in holding to high safety and technical standards. The Alliance does recognize that while many citizens support the project, the accelerated schedule has not given all stakeholders as much time as they (and we) would like to learn about the project and become fully comfortable. However, with a site selected, more detail design work can be completed. This will help the Alliance answer more of the community’s questions. Further, in spring 2011, an 18-month Environmental Impact Statement process, run by the Department of Energy will start. This process will include multiple opportunities for public involvement. Also, the environmental permitting process, run by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, will provide opportunities for public involvement. Finally, the first ton of CO2 will not be stored until early 2016. So, while the siting process has moved expeditiously, there is still substantial time for study and public input.

Will Ameren be capturing carbon dioxide at a coal-fueled boiler at the Meredosia power plant or the oil-fueled boiler? Are current coal boilers being retrofitted?

Ameren will replace an existing oil-fueled boiler with an oxy-combustion coal-fueled boiler. This type of upgrade is referred to as a repowering. The new boiler will send steam to an existing steam turbine generator that will produce electricity. The new oxy-combustion coal-fueled boiler will allow for carbon dioxide capture.

What is the composition of the CO2 from the power plant in Meredosia that would be stored?

The CO2 stream will be at least 97 percent (by weight) pure CO2. The other 3 percent (by weight) are safe inerts, such as argon and oxygen. Trace contaminants will be cleaned up to levels below safe drinking water standards.

Will CO2 from sources other than the Meredosia power plant be stored at the site?

The legal agreement between the FutureGen Alliance and the U.S. Department of Energy is to store at least 1.3MMT/year of CO2 from Ameren’s Meredosia plant for 30 years. This is a total of 39.0MMT of CO2. In addition, the Alliance has been asked to study the appropriateness of accepting CO2 from other sources. Examples of other sources might be CO2 from another power plant or an ethanol plant. This is a study of options. Any future expansion would be contingent upon landowner agreement and additional, extensive permitting. If expansion occurred, it would not necessarily be immediately adjacent to the original storage site. It is difficult to conceive of any expansion within the current decade. Finally, there are no funds allocated for expansion. The Alliance’s primary focus is on Meredosia’s CO2.

Will the roads be improved?

The storage site operations will not generate substantial traffic. The visitor, research, and training facilities will generate more vehicle traffic just like any new business does. The Alliance will work with local authorities to determine what, if any, road improvements need to be made to support construction and operation of the storage facility and other support facilities. This will be a specific topic addressed as part of environmental studies and there will be an opportunity for public comment.

Is visitor center located on the site, in a local town, or elsewhere?

The visitor center, research, and training facilities will be located in the same county as the storage site operations. The Alliance will work with county and local officials on how to best design these facilities for maximum benefit.

How can we be assured that the Alliance won’t change the rules as you go and “run over the little guy”?

There is a saying that “past performance is the best predictor of future behavior”. The Alliance has been working on FutureGen and in Illinois for many years. We’ve always kept our agreements with the local community, state, and contractors. We all live in a changing world. In the past when something changed—sometimes beyond our control–we’ve been honest about the reasons for the change. We have also been extremely sensitive to community and landowner concerns. We cannot address every concern immediately, but over time we work to address all we can. We suggest that you talk to community leaders in Mattoon (the prior host site) or government staff from the state of Illinois. They will tell you that the Alliance has always acted with integrity. This is not to say that we are perfect. If we make a mistake, we’ll admit it and correct it. As added assurance, the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued major new regulations governing CO2 storage that protect the community. Our goal is to advance clean coal technology, and we can’t accomplish that goal without being a good partner with the community.
Health and Safety

Is CO2 toxic or flammable?


Will security be increased at the storage site when it is accepting the CO2?

The storage site will be a secure site whether it is accepting CO2 or not. Further, its operations are so quiet, most people will not even realize it is operating.

What are the size and the operating pressure of the pipeline?

The operating pressure of the pipeline will not exceed 2200 psig. The pipeline will be approximately ten inches in diameter. Final engineering will determine the precise size.

Have pipelines been safely operated before?

Yes, there are over 3,600 miles of CO2 pipelines in the United States that have operated safely for decades.

How close could the pipeline be to my house?

While safety regulations would allow it to be closer, the project has adopted a minimum design distance of 150feet. Also, the pipeline is buried a minimum of four feet underground, which provides an added safety factor.

In Weyburn, Canada, there are claims of a CO2 leak. How is FutureGen different than what is happening in Weyburn, Canada?

The FutureGen and the Weyburn projects are substantially different from each other. Further, extensive scientific research has been conducted at the Weyburn site and no results have been found that would support the recent claims that CO2 injected as part of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project has migrated to the surface (Source: Petroleum Research

Technology Center Response to Petro-Find Geochem Ltd , 2011. The phenomena, which was claimed to be a leak, can be explained by near surface processes including microbial generation of soil CO2 and methane (PTRC, 2011) or other factors. The Alliance will continue to watch the Weyburn project closely. If there are any lessons-learned from it that we should apply to FutureGen 2.0, we will.

FutureGen 2.0 carbon storage is very different. It will take place in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, a deep saline reservoir more than three quarters of a mile beneath the surface.

This rock formation is more than 850 feet thick and is overlain by multiple layers of impermeable shale, which act as seals for the stored CO2. Very few wells have been drilled into the Mt. Simon Sandstone in Illinois due to the lack of fossil fuel resources in the formation. Oil and natural gas deposits in Illinois occur at much shallower depths in rocks that are hundreds of millions of years old. By contrast, the Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring & Storage Project is taking place in an active oil field using CO2 for EOR. At the Weyburn site, there are over 800 oil wells and about 200 injection wells (not including over 150 horizontal wells), which have reached the oil-producing beds.

Project documents say the nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and mercury are removed at the power plant. Exactly where do they go? How much remains in the C02? What are the risks of cross-contamination?

Nitrogen oxide is an emission associated with conventional coal-fueled power plants. One benefit of the new oxy-combustion process is that coal is burned in the presence of oxygen instead of the conventional approach of burning it in the presence of air. Air includes nitrogen, which then forms nitrogen oxide. Using oxygen, instead of air, means that the formation of nitrogen oxides is avoided. Sulfur dioxide is removed from the flue gas stream.

Typically the sulfur, in one of several chemical forms, is sold to the chemical industry for reuse. Particulate matter, which is essentially fine dust, is taken to a permitted landfill.

Mercury is removed and taken to a special disposal site. Real-time monitoring of the CO2 stream before it exits the plant will automatically shut-down the pipeline if the CO2 composition does not stay within acceptable limits. We require that trace contaminants like mercury be less than what EPA normally allows in safe drinking water. This prevents cross-contamination.

What about micro-fissures and leaching of the CO2 through those?

The CO2 is stored more than three quarters of a mile below the surface with many layers of rock above it, including an impermeable caprock. Similar formations have held oil and gas in place for hundreds of millions of years with no upward migration. Further, the injection of CO2 will occur at a rate well below any pressure that would cause micro-fissures in the formation.

What property does the project want to use?

The Alliance seeks to buy the very deep subsurface rights from individual landowners. The geologic formations of interest contain no minerals and no water that is suitable for drinking or irrigation. These formations are currently unused for any purpose. Surface landowners will be able to continue to farm or otherwise use their surface property. The Alliance will also want to procure small amounts of surface property or easements for wellheads, pipelines, and small support facilities.

How much will landowners be compensated?

Specific amounts will be part of a contract with individual landowners. Overall, the Alliance has set aside more than $10 million for equitable landowner compensation.

Is the federal government going to exercise eminent domain to take property?

Absolutely not.

Would the state government use eminent domain to gain pipeline easements?

Perhaps; however, it is the Alliance’s desire to negotiate easements for a fair market price. We will attempt to locate pipeline easements along existing utility corridors where possible in order to have minimum impact on landowners. Farming can continue right above the pipeline after construction. During construction, farmers would be paid full fair market price for any crops that cannot be grown on the easement. Thus, for less work, the farmer will generate the same revenue. Also, an additional payment will be made to landowners for the easement itself.

In the future, could the pipeline be switched to other uses, such as natural gas.

No, in the easement agreement we will restrict the use of the easement to a CO2 pipeline.

How large are the monitoring wells and where will they be placed?

There is flexibility in terms of where the monitoring wells are placed. The Alliance plans to work with the landowner to locate these wells where they will cause minimum impact to the landowner. During the drilling of the wells an area approximately 500 feet by 500 feet will be required. After drilling the footprint will be reduced to approximately 150 feet by 150 feet or less. Periodic access to the site will be needed to service the well. Arrangement will be made with landowners to assure minimum impact on farming or other activities around these wells.

If a problem occurs, are landholders responsible?

No. The landowner and local community carry no financial responsibility or liability.

How are the community and landowners protected from financial loss?

The project is being designed with a safety-first approach, which makes it a very low probability that there will be problems. Should a problem occur, four tiers of liability protection will be in place. The first are the project’s cash resources. The second is a major industrial insurance policy. The third tier, is a project-funded trust fund. The fourth and final tier is a state-supported liability backstop.

Would federal government statutes exempt the project from the financial responsibility for liability?

No. We are aware of no law that would provide such exemptions. In fact, just the opposite, as part of the Alliance’s contractual agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Alliance agreed to indemnify and hold harmless the U.S. Department of Energy.

Given the current fiscal condition of the State of Illinois, how much support can the state really provide? Will they purchase the insurance policy mentioned?

The State of Illinois has been a strong supporter of the project. However, the Alliance is not asking the state for financial support. The Alliance will purchase a major industrial insurance policy.

Source :

Carbon Capture and Storage, Oxy Fuel combustion


CCS in South Africa

Posted by on Monday, 28 February, 2011

More than ninety percent of South Africa’s power is generated from coal and other industries resulting in the release of over 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. As a part of South African government’s effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions it has established the South African Centre for Carbon Capture and storage (SACCCS) to investigate the feasibility of CCS in South Africa. SACCCS was established in March 2009 as a division within South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) and is governed by a charter that has an initial five year plan.

The strategy of SACCCS is to develop and implement a roadmap for the commercial application of CCS in South Africa. The mission of SACCCS is to be the leading authority for all carbon capture storage related activities in South Africa. Its main objective is to prepare and promote the construction of a safe and reliable carbon capture and demonstration plant in South Africa.

The roadmap consists of five phases:

  • Preliminary Potential Investigation: A preliminary investigation was undertaken by the CSIR for the Department of Minerals and Energy showed theoretically that South Africa had capturable emissions and potential storage sites. Based on this premise, further investigations were initiated.
  • Geological Storage Atlas: A project to derive more authoritative storage information commenced during September, 2008. The Atlas identifies four possible CO2 geological storage basins in South Africa. Two are being explored – onshore areas of the Zululand Basin, with UK support, and the Outeniqua Basin, with European aid support. The Atlas will be taken into the Centre’s programme of work and further developed to locate a storage site suitable for the Test Injection.
  • CO2 Injection Experiment: The ultimate purpose of the Experiment is to show to decision makers that carbon capture and storage can be safely undertaken in South Africa. This experiment will end by 2016.
  • Demonstration Plant: A demonstration plant will test an integrated operating system under local conditions and forms an essential link between feasibility trials and a full scale commercial plant. This phase will demonstrate the capture, transport and safe injection of CO2 into South African geological formations. The magnitude of the demonstration plant is in the order of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Commercial Operation: A full scale commercial plant is envisaged once the result of the demonstration plant turns out to be positive. It is expected that this phase will not be a part of the South African Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage. The magnitude of the commercial scale operation is in the order of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Work plan of SACCCS:

The current focus areas of carbon capture and storage work in South Africa are therefore storage and regulation. After the publication of the Atlas the next logical step is the undertaking of the test injection experiment. The purpose of the test injection is a “proof of concept” to demonstrate that carbon storage can be undertaken in South Africa. The process of bringing South Africa to the test injection will also enable ancillary outputs that will be necessary for a carbon capture and storage industry in South Africa. The test injection phase will involve injecting some tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 to measure the effect of injection of CO2. The results will determine the future of CCS in South Africa.

To read more:


Carbon Capture and Storage, Geological Sequestration

Amine based carbon dioxide capture using artificial intelligence

Posted by on Thursday, 17 February, 2011

An enhanced understanding of the intricate relationships among the process parameters in carbon dioxide capture enables prediction and optimization, thereby improving the efficiency of the CO2 capture process.

The technology of amine-based carbon dioxide (CO2) capture has been widely adopted for reducing CO2 emissions and mitigating global warming. The operation of an amine-based CO2 capture system is complicated and involves monitoring over one hundred process parameters and careful manipulation of numerous valves and pumps. The monitoring and control of critical parameters of the process is an important task because it directly impacts plant performance and capture efficiency of CO2. In this study, artificial intelligence techniques were applied to develop a knowledge-based expert system that aims to effectively monitor and control the CO2 capture process, and thereby enhance CO2 capture efficiency.

The Knowledge-Based System for Carbon Dioxide Capture (KBSCDC) was implemented with DeltaV Simulate (trademark of Emerson Corp., USA). DeltaV Simulate provides control utilities and algorithms which support the configuration of control strategies in modular components.

The KBSCDC can conduct real-time monitoring and diagnosis, as well as suggest remedies for any abnormality detected. The expert system enhances performance and efficiency of the CO2 capture system because it supports automated diagnosis of the system should any abnormal conditions occur. The knowledge base of KBSCDC can be shared and reused, and can contribute to future study of the CO2 capture process.

The idea of using artificial intelligence for carbon dioxide capture was attempted by the scientists at the University of Regina as they published a paper on “An application of neuro-fuzzy technology for analysis of the CO2 capture process”.

The researchers primarily focused in the following two areas:

(1) Study of the behaviour of the conventional amine solvents and development of new or improved solvents with higher CO2 absorption capacities, faster CO2 reaction rates, higher degradation resistance, and lower heat consumption for regeneration.

(2) Selection of appropriate solvents for different applications to reduce the energy penalty. The objective of this study is to develop a knowledge-based expert system for monitoring and control of the CO2 capture process.

The expert system in this study was implemented on DeltaV Simulate (trademark of Emerson Corp., USA). The hierarchy of the DeltaV system includes five levels: plant area (level 1), module (level 2), algorithm (level 3), function block (level 4), and parameter (level 5). The plant areas are logical divisions of the process control system. A plant area consists of modules. Each module is a logic control entity to configure the control strategies. Function block diagrams (FBD) were used to continuously execute control strategies. The basic component of a FBD is a function block, which contains the control algorithm and defines the behaviour of the module. Each function block contains parameters that are the user-defined data utilized for performing its calculations and logic.

To develop the knowledge-based expert system for monitoring and control of the CO2 capture process, the Inferential Modelling Technique (IMT) was applied to analyze the domain knowledge and problem-solving techniques and a knowledge base was established.

The expert system helps to enhance system performance and CO2 capture efficiency by dramatically reducing the time for problem diagnosis and resolution when abnormal operating conditions occur. The expert system can be used as a decision-support tool for inexperienced operators for controlling the plant and can be used for training novice operators.

However, there are two disadvantages in the expert system in its current version. Since there are sixteen components involved in the CO2 capture process, an abnormal condition can be caused by incorrect performance of more than one component or parameter. However, the system in its current version can only deal with abnormal operation of one component at a time. Moreover, the knowledge captured for the diagnosis and system control represents the problem-solving expertise of only one expert operator.

Since the expert system developed is in an infant stage, further research on the same will help in addressing these setbacks.

Natural gas better than coal to cut CO2 emissions?

Posted by on Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

Simon Henry, Chief financial officer at shell, claimed that gas-fired generators would be the cheapest and quickest way of plugging the gap in electricity supply as the UK closes nearly half its current power stations in the next ten to 15 years.

Expanding natural gas at the expense of coal is the fastest and most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions in the power sector over the next decade. Modern gas plants emit between 50 per cent and 70 per cent less CO2 than coal plants.

Undoubtedly, high efficiency natural gas-fired power stations can produce up to 70% lower greenhouse gas emissions than existing brown coal-fired generators, and less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of the coal-fired power stations using latest technology. The CO2 emissions from Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) plants are reduced relative to those produced by burning coal given the same power output because of the higher heat content of natural gas, the lower carbon intensity of gas relative to coal, and the higher overall efficiency of the NGCC plant relative to a coal-fired plant.

Because natural gas has been and still is a relatively cheap fuel, industry and governments have not been overly concerned about energy efficiency. With focus starting to shift and look at emissions, it is starting to be noticed. It still has a long way to go. There is a technology that has been available and used in North America called “Condensing flue gas heat recovery”. This technology is designed to increase the energy efficiency of natural gas and LPG appliances.

McKinsey in a consulting assignment describes gas as a clean, plentiful and relatively cheap form of energy. It challenges the idea that renewable forms of energy should be the primary way to cut emissions.

The supporters of renewable energy also acknowledge the fact that gas fired power plants produce less amount of greenhouse gases compared to coal or oil fired plants. The McKinsey report also talks about Europe’s own largely undeveloped shale gas resources that could meet the continent’s needs for 30 years based on current demand.

It is estimated that integrating carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology with gas fired power plants could cut emissions on gas-fired plants by 90 per cent if deployed, and that it would cost less when compared to the cost involved in installing wind or solar power plants to meet the same targets.

CLIMAX 500 Climate Tech Startup Snapshot - Top 10 startups in 50 decarbonization avenues

Renewable Energy - Utility Scale Solar | Distributed Solar | Solar Thermal | Wind Power | Biomass heating and power | Biofuels | Hydro Power | Geothermal Energy

Energy Efficiency - Energy Efficient Buildings | Industrial Waste Heat Recovery | Low Carbon Thermal Power | Energy Efficient Industrial Equipment | Smart Grids | Heat Pumps | Digital for Decarbonization

Energy Storage - Battery Storage | Thermal & Mechanical Storage | Green Hydrogen

Agriculture & Food - Sustainable Forestry | Regenerative Agriculture | Smart Farming | Low Carbon Food | Agro Waste Management

Materials - Bio-based Materials | Advanced Materials | Product Use Efficiency | Industrial Resource Efficiency

Waste Management - Reducing Food Waste | Solid Waste Management

Water - Water Use Efficiency 

Decarbonizing Industries - Low Carbon Metals | Low Carbon Chemicals & Fertilizers | Low Carbon Construction Materials | Low Carbon Textiles & Fashion | Decarbonizing Oil & Gas Sector | Corporate Carbon Management

Low Carbon Mobility - Electric Mobility | Low Carbon Trucking | Low Carbon Marine Transport | Low Carbon Aviation | Low Carbon ICE Vehicles | Mass Transit 

GHG Management - CO2 Capture & Storage | C2V - CO2 to Value | Reducing Emissions from Livestock | Reducing Non-CO2 Industrial & Agricultural Emissions | Managing Large Carbon Sinks

Others - Low Carbon Lifestyles | Multi-stakeholder Collaboration | Moonshots