CAPTURE OF CO2 with solvents has been carried out for many years, but the
method is based on technology developed in the 1930s,” says SINTEF Tel-Tek
consultant and professor at the University College of Southeast Norway, Dag A.
Eimer. Fjell, SINTEF Tel-Tek and CMR Prototech have worked together with Equinor
over the last 10 years to develop a more efficient capture plant that requires
TAKE UP SPACE “The use of solvents is about giving the chemicals enough time
and contact with the flue gas to bind the CO2,” Fjell CTO Asbjørn Strand
capture is carried out by releasing the waste gases through a high pipe. On
their way up, the flue gas encounters CO2 binding chemicals– so-called solvents
– which are sprayed down from the top and sides and absorb CO2. Then the
solvent is transferred to a desorber, where CO2 released from the solvent.
absorption method can require a pipe that is several tens of metres high. This
means that you will have a capture plant that requires a great deal of space,
which both limits the areas of application and results in substantial investment
costs,” says Strand.
projects in CLIMIT have contributed to the development of more efficient and
less costly solvents, the Fjell Technology Group has looked at the
opportunities to improve the actual capture plant.
GASKETS “Simply explained, we have developed a compact plant that increases the
surface area of the amine by means of rotating technology. This reduces the time
that the flue gas must be in the capture unit, which also reduces the size of
the plant,” Strand explains. The method also makes it possible to use concentrated
and viscous solvents that absorb CO2 more efficiently. It is of no consequence
what types of solvent are used. The technology is solvent neutral.
Technology Group’s cooperation with Equinor, SINTEF Tel-Tek and CMR Prototech
began already in 2007. That is when the group, under the management of Equinor,
developed a compact “stripper” or desorber that separates the CO2 from solvents
after carbon capture. This is the same group that is responsible for the new
pilot for the absorber component of the capture plant, which is being tested
now under the direction of SINTEF Tel-Tek at the University College of
Southeast Norway in Porsgrunn.
the development of the absorber stopped in 2012, but upon agreement with Equinor,
we took over the rights and resumed the work in 2015. We then had an idea about
how we could solve the absorption process. We applied for and received support from
CLIMIT, which has been decisive in getting us to where we are today,” says
Strand. Statoil has also contributed financing.
technology is still immature, but the goal is to be ready with a compact plant
that has a broad area of application, both in industry and on the oil platforms
by the end of 2020. In addition to being space-saving, the concept will also be
less costly than traditional capture plants.
investment costs will be significantly lower, and it also looks like the
operating costs will be somewhat lower,” says Strand.
DECISIVE If the carbon capture plant is to be interesting commercially,
however, it is crucial that an infrastructure for transport and storage be put
in place. Madsen anxiously awaits the start of the full-scale project for
carbon capture, but he trusts that it will take place according to plan. “Almost
all scenarios for how we can reach the two-degree target from the Paris
Agreement require the capture of CO2 from power plants and industry. Wedo not
have any alternative to paralleluse of carbon capture,” says Strand. “The
earlier we get started, the better.”