Archive for category CO2 Capture

Oxy – fuel technology for zero emission power generation

Posted by on Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

Maersk Oil has acquired licences to Clean Energy System’s Oxy-Fuel technology that allows zero-emission power generation in combination with oil and gas projects.

Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operated production of about 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from fields in the Danish and UK North Sea, offshore Qatar, in Algeria and in Kazakhstan. Maersk Oil exploration activities are ongoing in Denmark, UK, Norway, Angola, Brazil, the US Gulf of Mexico, Greenland and Oman. Maersk Oil and its subsidiary companies are part of the Danish A.P.Moller – Maersk Group. Maersk Oil was established in 1962, when it was awarded a concession for oil and gas exploration and production in Denmark.

Clean Energy Systems, of Rancho Cordova, CA, specialises in the development of zero emissions commercial power plants using an oxy-fuel combustion process. The power plants use oxygen and various fuels to produce power that results in zero atmospheric emissions with carbon dioxide and water as byproducts. The company owns an extensive portfolio of patents and a Bakersfield, CA, power plant, used to further develop the oxy-fuel technology.

The Oxy-Fuel technology uses pure oxygen to combust natural gas or other fuels to produce water, electricity and carbon dioxide (CO2). Water and power can be provided to consumers, while the captured CO2 can be used for Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery projects, ensuring a zero emission operation.

“The agreement with CES pushes the boundaries of energy technology allowing Maersk Oil to create unique value for potential partners and governments. This follows our long tradition of finding innovative solutions to challenging oil and gas fields. The technology enables power generation free from CO2 emission, while boosting oil and gas extraction in difficult or mature fields.” said Pieter Kapteijn, Director of Technology and Innovation at Maersk Oil.

“We are excited to work with Maersk Oil to deploy the CES technology on a commercial scale in oil and gas projects,” said Keith Pronske, President and CEO of Clean Energy Systems.

What is special about the idea is that most of the necessary systems – a combustor, a turbine, a generator, and a condenser, can be installed in a single plant, which is small enough to fit inside 3 x 40 foot box containers.

The only other piece of plant required is an air separation unit, a much larger piece of plant, which needs to be kept a good distance from the combustor for safety reasons.

This means that the overall capital cost of the system can be much cheaper than the “conventional” concept for carbon capture for gas.

The process can be used on and offshore and is well suited to low quality gas fields containing CO2. The CO2 is separated from condensed steam after combustion – a cost-effective alternative to other carbon capture options – and can then be re-injected into a field to increase the amount of oil or gas recovered.

With the Maersk Oil concept, the gas enters a relatively small plant which can be close to the well (if it is on land) or close to where the gas comes to shore. The outputs from the plant are electricity (which is relatively easy to transport) and carbon dioxide (which can be sent directly back down neighbouring oil or gas well). There might even be a customer for the water (from the reaction of gas with oxygen) if it is in a desert environment.

With only a relatively small plant required on land, it seems likely that there should be less local objections to installing it, compared to (for example) a new gigawatt scale power plant.

Maersk Oil plans to spend 2-3 years further developing the technology and is looking for launch projects.

Combustion technology: The combustor is also much simpler than a conventional gas combustion plant.The combustion is carefully controlled, with oxygen and natural gas or other fuels fed in exactly the right quantities for maximum efficiency. The technology for the combustor was derived from the space rocket industry, where the combustion has to be very carefully controlled to ensure that the rocket combustion products are ejected from the combustor in a stable and safe way. The key is to achieve proper mixing of the O2, fuel and water to ensure that the flame is stable and the temperature controlled.

Clean Energy Systems won a USD $30m grant from the US Department of Energy to further develop the technology and demonstrate its integration with a gas turbine and generator.

Air separation unit: The system also requires an air separation unit to separate air into oxygen and nitrogen by cryogenic cooling. This is a mature commercial process. The air separation unit is much bigger than the other equipment and must be positioned away from the rest of the process for safety reasons.  Maersk is looking at installing the air separation units offshore. “It seems to be feasible without too much development work,” Mr Kapteijn says.

Making it viable: For the system to be feasible, at a minimum you would need a gas well, a customer willing to buy an additional steady supply of electricity at the megawatt scale, and nearby depleted oil or gas wells which could use a steady supply of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery. The system could only work if everything could be operated continuously – so there was a continuous supply of gas into the system, electricity was generated continuously, and the carbon dioxide produced would continuously be pumped into a gas or oil field. This means that there would need to be a customer in need of a continuous supply of electricity (“base load”), or the electricity would need to be stored in some way.

Maersk Oil also envisages providing the system in partnerships with national oil companies, whereby it would agree to produce gas fields effectively (using enhanced gas recovery) and provide electricity, without adding a single molecule of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, even if the gas fields themselves are already high in carbon dioxide.

Maersk Oil’s licence of this technology can present solutions to partners and governments, which increasingly support the development of zero emission power generation alongside oil and gas production to meet global energy demand.

Inventys Carbon Capture Process

Posted by on Wednesday, 16 February, 2011

Inventys, located in Burnaby, British Columbia is a cleantech company that produces technologies for the energy and process industries.

Inventys developed the VeloxoTherm process, a new gas separation technology, which uses a structured adsorbent and a rotating cylindrical frame.

Velexo Therm is a high  energy and capital-efficient technology for capturing carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas streams.

VeloxoTherm process costs less than one third of existing post-combustion CO2 capture technologies and will finally enable the widespread adoption of enhanced oil recovery and carbon sequestration.

The process has the ability to recover the heat energy produced during the absorption of carbon dioxide and use it to release the carbon dioxide, reducing thereby the overall costs.

André Boulet is a co-founder of Inventys and is the  inventor of the VeloxoTherm process. He is an inventor of several advanced gas separation technologies and is cited on more than 20 patent applications in this field.

Inventys was recently awarded 1.9M$ Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to demonstrate the VeloxoTherm process with its consortia partners, which include Suncor Energy, Doosan Babcock, and British Petroleum.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a commercially proven process where CO2 is used to increase the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from an oil field. Since the VeloxoTherm process provides an economical method to separate waste CO2 from industrial flue gases, this waste CO2 can then be used to produce a valuable product – oil.

Inventys is initially developing the VeloxoTherm process for the EOR market and plans to aggressively market it to industrial CO2 emitters that are situated close to planned enhanced oil recovery pipelines.

By 2013, there will be over 500 potential installation sites that fit these requirements in North America alone.

The VeloxoTherm (velox = fast; therm = thermal) gas separation process is a post combustion carbon dioxide capture technol­ogy that has been developed by Inventys Thermal Technologies. This technology enables carbon dioxide to be captured from industrial flue gas streams for 15US$ per tonne of CO2.

The VeloxoTherm process is an intensified temperature swing adsorption process that uses a proprietary structured adsorbent to separate CO2 from almost any industrial flue gas stream.

Simply put, a structured adsorbent is a sorbent material which is arranged into a monolithic structure. The structured adsorbent used in the VeloxoTherm process resembles a honeycomb that preferentially traps CO2 while allowing other gases such as nitrogen and water vapor to pass through it. The favorable balance between hydraulic and transport properties achieved by structured adsorbents significantly increases the gas throughput of the system for a given amount of adsorbent (the specific productivity of the adsorbent). This intensification enables the VeloxoTherm TSA process to manage the very large volume of gas that must be processed from industrial flue gas streams encountered in post combustion CO2 capture applications.

Fixed bed adsorption processes, like the VeloxoTherm process, can be intensified by increasing the feed rate to the process by decreasing the cycle time of the process. The extent to which this approach can be implemented is limited by the pressure drop, mass transfer, and heat transfer characteristics of the adsorbent reactor, all of which are not favorable for a traditional arrangement of adsorbent – packed beds.

The shortcomings of packed bed reactors inherently limit the performance of conventional sorbent systems and therefore these systems are not considered to be bona fide alternatives for the post combustion capture of carbon dioxide. Properly designed structured adsorbents can overcome the limitations of conventional sorbent-based separation processes and greatly enhance their performance and economics.

Structured adsorbents by their nature are immobilized, so fluidization is nonexistent. Also, correctly designed structured adsorbents provide lower pressure drop per unit length than a packed bed of adsorbent, so for low pressure applications, such as post combustion CO2 capture, they are ideal. In addition, structured adsorbents with high cell densities give proportionally better performance than packed beds because of their higher geometrical surface area. Thus structured adsorbents are among the most efficient methods available to pack high adsorbent surface area into a fixed volume while still maintaining low pressure drop.

Adsorption is an exothermic (heat producing) process. When CO2 molecules accumulate on the surface of the structured adsorbent, heat is evolved. When CO2 molecules disperse from the surface during regeneration just the opposite occurs – heat is consumed. As the cycle time of adsorption systems is reduced, management of heat flow during adsorption and desorption becomes increasingly important so that the benefits of superior mass transfer and hydrodynamic benefits offered by structured adsorbents can be realized.

The structured adsorbent developed by Inventys for the VeloxoTherm™ process, however, goes one step further – it has the unique ability to recover the heat energy evolved during adsorption and supply this heat energy to the adsorbent during regeneration. This feature is responsible for the low amount of energy required for adsorbent regeneration – less than 1.5 GJ/tonne of CO2 and is an important factor responsible for the very low net energy consumption for the process.

The VeloxoTherm process is unlike conven­tional adsorption processes that have two or more adsorption reactors operating in an ad­sorption cycle, which is driven by a series of valves. In the VeloxoTherm process the structured adsorbents are fixed in a cylindri­cal frame which rotates. The frame is divid­ed into at least two zones. In the adsorption zone, flue gas enters and CO2 is captured from the stream. As the frame rotates, the structured adsorbents pass into the regenera­tion zone where low-pressure steam is used to release the captured CO2. Be­cause the separation process operates near ambient pressure, a simple sealing mecha­nism can be used to isolate the adsorption and regeneration zones.

The rotary adsorption machine replaces discrete adsorption vessels and the accom­panying complex arrangement of valves and piping. This embodiment has several advan­tages. The rotary adsorption machine is a simple, inexpensive, and a proven design. The rotary adsorption machine can readily be integrated into new and exist­ing chemical processes (heaters, boilers, crackers, cement kilns, blast furnaces, and gas turbines) because it is not tightly inte­grated into existing plant operations. Any in­dustrial facility can continue normal opera­tions during the installation, commissioning, and maintenance of the VeloxoTherm plant.

The VeloxoTherm process is readily scalable. Any number of structures can be assembled to construct a VeloxoTherm plant of nearly any capacity; a plant capacity of 100 tonnes per day of CO2, which would be emitted from a typical process heater in a refinery, would be ap­proximately three meters in diameter where­as a 80 meter diameter VeloxoTherm plant would be capable of processing 5 mega­tonnes of CO2 annually. Having a projected capital cost of US$132-million, a VeloxoTherm plant of this capacity would be suitable for installation on a 500­megaWatt pulverized coal fired power plant.

The VeloxoTherm process is able to capture CO2 from nearly any industrial flue gas stream for a total cost (operating + capi­tal) of 5 US$ per barrel of oil recovered, which is equivalent to a capture cost of 15 US$/tonne of CO2. The VeloxoTherm process presents purified CO2 at low pres­sure so compression and transportation are required for use in EOR applications. This will translate into a field-delivered price of approximately 35US$/tonne of CO2, de­pending, on the nature of the EOR project (the cost for compression and transportation are, of course, application and EOR site spe­cific).

As of now it appears that the industry is gungho about the Veloxo Therm process. Particularly the carbon capture cost of  15 $ per ton of CO2.

Looks like carbon capture and storage is going to happen soon, if Velexo Therm works.

Coal is here to stay

Posted by on Friday, 28 January, 2011

“Coal is here to stay” – these are the words of Milton Catelin, head of World Coal Institute during his presentation at the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi recently. This underlines the importance of coal that will be the mainstay of future energy security. Also China and India which are the largest consumer of energy in the world are expected to meet their increasing energy demand from coal based thermal power plants. That’s why governments and industry have started focusing on CCS technologies as a means to reduce their contribution of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is optimistic about the CCS technologies potential to capture CO2 from industries and considers CCS as the most important tool for CO2 savings. The agency predicts that CCS would alone account for 20% of carbon mitigation effort in this century reducing carbon emissions on the same lines of renewable energy sources. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says CCS would account for 10-55% of the world’s carbon mitigation efforts.

Having said this, CCS is not only a climate change mitigation mechanism; it can be used to make money as well.  A few decades back, companies in USA injected CO2 for EOR. Also the captured CO2 can be used as feedstock in the manufacturing of products like gasoline, plastics, cement among others for which extensive research is underway. A detailed blog post on using CO2 as feedstock is available here. Adding to it, inclusion of CCS projects under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) wherein these projects are eligible for carbon credits makes it still more attractive economically.

Indian Fertilizer Company Licensing Carbon Capture Technology

Posted by on Friday, 21 January, 2011

I was wondering for quite sometime, what was Indian industries contribution towards carbon emission reduction. Because nowhere I came across mention of India’s effort in carbon capture and storage projects as a part of climate change mitigation strategy.  Also looking at my previous posts I realized that though India ranks among top 10 countries in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, there has not been any post on India’s effort in addressing the problem of global warming by adoption of CCS technology.

So I started looking for CCS projects in India and ended up in finding an article about Indian fertilizer company National Fertilizer Ltd (NFL) licensing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) carbon capture technology to set up a recovery plant at its Vijaipur plant in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The fertilizer industry is also among the largest emitter of carbon dioxide. The carbon capture technology of MHI uses KS-1 solvent (jointly developed by MHI and Kansai electric company) that captures the CO2 from the flue gas stream. The captured CO2 is said to be of 99% purity which will be recycled again to be used in the production of urea from ammonia.  Thus the problem of carbon dioxide storage is addressed by recycling in the same manufacturing process. NFL claims to capture 450 tons of CO2 per day which will be one of the world’s largest capture facilities in the world once it is commissioned.

To my surprise this is not the first time an Indian fertilizer company has licensed the MHI technology. The NFL is the third company only next to Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) and Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) to license this technology. So far MHI has licensed the CO2 recovery technology to 9 fertilizer plants around the world. Coal fired power plants in India contribute to around 80% of the total electricity generated and will remain the main source of energy in the near future as well. Taking cues from the fertilizer companies, will the thermal power plants adopt a similar carbon capture technology to reduce their carbon emissions?

For more on this story click here.

Clean Air Solution for Flue Gas from WI Environmental

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

The process can eliminate the release of CO2 as well as heavy metals, small particles, and NOx and SOx contamination into the atmosphere. It can be applied to emissions from the smokestacks of coal and diesel-fired new or existing power plants and other smokestack and exhaust emitting devices including in the shipping industry.

The AST solution

The AST Solution is an air purification technology that does not require the use of solid filters. It applies a patented aqueous filtering system with a combination, as needed, of electrostatic filtering, UV sterilization, germicidal sterilization and additional features. It can be used to capture and eliminate CO2, particulates, smoke, bacteria and viruses, mold and mildew, pet dander, pollen and grasses, odors, chemical vapors, other allergens, and oil mists.

According to WI, a proprietary water-based solution is used to eliminate contaminants without solution leakage and unwanted humidification, and it does not re-circulate contaminants like some other systems. It can be scaled from small household portable or fixed systems, to retrofitted systems to new or existing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, to large multi-stage systems for industrial purposes including any exhaust emitting device.

An advantage of the AST Solution, the company says, is that there are no filters to change or clean; it only requires refilling the storage tank with the water system every few weeks.In most areas, old formula in the tanks will be safe for discharge into a sanitary sewage system, WI says.

The XR-88 component

XR-88 is a WI Environmental propriety product that stabilises and renders benign a wide variety of metals (such as uranium, copper, hexavalent chromium, nickel, zinc, lead, arsenic and many others) that are found in industrial waste, acid mine drainage and nuclear power plant radioactive waste waters.

It has been extensively tested in the United States and China. Wastes treated with XR-88 have passed tests including the US Environmental Protection Agency Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (US EPA TCLP) test for leachability of trapped metals in the remaining sludge, thus yielding a non-hazardous waste.

CO2 removal is accomplished at the same time that heavy metals, small particles, NOx and SOx are removed. A major advantage to removing CO2 with XR-88, WI says, is that it chemically reacts with the CO2 to form a chalk-like material with a high silica content that can be filter pressed and used for beneficial uses.


ECO2 – BP and Powerspan Develop Ammonia CCS Technology

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

A pilot testing project is expected to begin early 2008 at FirstEnergy Corporation’s R.E. Burger plant in Shadyside, Ohio, processing 20 tons of carbon dioxide a day from a 1 megawatt power generation. The carbon dioxide will be buried in an 8,000 foot test well at the site.
FirstEnergy is collaborating with the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration. It may be the first ever demonstration program for carbon capture and storage at a conventional coal fired power plant.

Powerspan developed the technology together with the US Department of Environment’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.The technology can work together with other Powerspan technologies to remove NOx, SO2, mercury and fine particulates.
Powerspan’s ECO2 technology is a promising solution for post combustion capture of CO2. This is an opportunity for BP to broaden the scope of low carbon power offering by including a CO2 capture technology that is compatible with new and existing coal fired power stations.

Powerspan’s ECO2 technology captures carbon dioxide post combustion into an ammonia stream.


Removing CO2 from Air – University of Calgary Scientists Undertake Research

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

In research conducted at the U of C, a team of researchers showed it is possible to reduce CO2 using a relatively simple machine that can capture the trace amount of CO2 present in the air.

“The thermodynamics suggests that air capture might only be a bit harder than capturing CO2 from power plants. We are trying to turn that theory into engineering reality,” said the team lead.

The U of C team has devised a new way to apply a chemical process derived from the pulp and paper industry to cut the energy cost of air capture in half, and has filed two provisional patents on their end-to-end air capture system.

Energy-efficient and cost-effective air capture could play a valuable role in complementing other approaches for reducing emissions from the transportation sector.

Keith and his team showed that they can capture CO2 directly from the air with less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide.

CO2 capture from air to me appears like pure research topic right now. With a CO2 concentration of less than 0.3%, air is possibly not the best medium from which to extract CO2. It makes far more sense to try it from the concentrated sources from where they are emitted. Guess it is fairly a no-brainer that it should cost much less to capture it from a concentrated source than from such a diffuse source.


CO2 Solution Joint Development with Codexis with Enzymatic Method

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Under the collaboration, CO2 Solution’s proprietary enzymatic method for CO2 capture from coal-fired power plants and other large sources of emissions will be combined with Codexis’ directed enzyme evolution technology.

CO2 Solution’s technology uses the natural enzyme carbonic anhydrase to enhance CO2 absorption efficiency from power plant emissions, at lower cost than conventional technology.
Codexis’ technology will be used to improve this enzyme’s ability to function in harsh industrial conditions. Carbonic anhydrase is found in humans and other mammals and is critical in the efficient management of CO2 during respiration.

CO2 Solution and Codexis will also cooperate on Canadian and U.S. government funding opportunities for the technology as well as customer and adopter opportunities.


Cryogenic CO2 Capture Using Cold Energy from LNG

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Cryogenic CO2 capture using cold energy from LNG : innovative synergies between LNG terminals and nearby industries.

Within the R&D activities on CO2 capture, transport and storage, GDF SUEZ Innovation & Research Department is conducting a series of studies on the three main options for capture (i.e. oxyfuel/chemical looping, pre-combustion and post-combustion), the two options for CO2 transport (i.e. pipelines and ships) and CO2 storage in partnership with universities, R&D centers, industries and the French National Research Agency (ANR).

Innovative options for capture :
As part of GDF SUEZ Innovation & Research Department, CRIGEN was also involved in an innovative CO2 capture technology using cold, through the ANR Project CO2Sublim built around a partnership with ARMINES1 , which has developed a process for CO2 capture by frosting (“antisublimation” in French). A laboratory mock-up has already been built by ARMINES in order to validate the concept feasibility. The project was proceeded between November 2006 and end of February 2008.

As a next step, CRIGEN and its partners are developing an improvement of this CO2 cryogenic capture system – allowing energy consumption decrease – using free cold from LNG available on LNG terminals.

This technology uses the cold energy released during LNG re-gasification process to freeze out and then liquefy the CO2 from industrial flue gases (power plant, steel or cement industry …). The high-pressure liquid CO2 could be easily transported by ships for Enhanced Gas or Oil Recovery application or for geological storage.
By using potential synergies between a CO2 source and a LNG terminal, this technology will significantly reduce the cost of carbon dioxide capture. Thus, this technology process could be a good alternative to CO2 solvent technologies and presents many advantages such as :
-> Atmospheric capture of diluted flue gases (like solvents processes),
-> High purity of captured CO2,
-> Integrated removal system of common pollutants in the flue gases,
-> Liquefied and pressurized CO2 ready for shipping or pipeline transportation,
-> Less energy consumption than amines technologies,
-> Thermal and physical process instead of chemical process (solvents),
-> Reduced impact of CO2 capture on global efficiency.


Purenergy CCS 1000 – Prefab CO2 Capture Equipment

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Purenergy CCS 1000 is a standalone carbon capture system that will capture CO2 from the flue gas exhaust of power plants and large industrial emitters. It will be capable of capturing 1000 tons per day of CO2.

The system is pre-engineered, pre-built and modularly constructed in Saskatchewan by HTC’s strategic partner Pinnacle Industrial Services of Regina using technologies developed and validated at the University of Regina.

The company believes, because of its modular design, that it will be able to be manufactured, shipped and erected at the emitter sight at a much lower cost than other systems that have to be custom built on site.

HTC Purenergy is globally commercialising this product through its head office in Regina (Canada), and commercial offices in Sydney (Australia), Beijing (China), and Vermont (USA).