Carbon capture and storage

Vattenfall plans full scale CCS demo at Nordjyslandvaerket 3

1 May 2008

Adding to its growing portfolio of carbon capture activities, Vattenfall is planning a post combustion capture project at the 410 MWe Nordjyslandvaerket 3 pulverised coal fired CHP plant in Denmark (near Aalborg) that will demonstrate the entire CCS value chain, at full scale. The capture technology will probably employ flue gas scrubbing, building on the utility's experience with the EU funded Castor project at the Esbjerg power plant, where several post combustion scrubbing agents have been trialled.The resulting carbon dioxide will be transported via a 30 km subsurface pipeline to a storage site, an aquifer in the Vedsted formation (capacity, 40-80 million t CO2).

Vattenfall's new full scale CCS demo project

The capture project schedule is: invitation to tender, November 2009; tender evaluation, March 2010; contract award, November 2010; and start of operation, 2013.

Commissioned in 1998, Nordjyslandvaerket 3, with a total efficiency in CHP mode of 91% and an electricity generation efficiency of 47% (cooling water inlet temperature of 12°C), is one of the newest coal fired units in Denmark.

It emits about 1.8 million t of carbon dioxide per year. The precapture flue gas composition is: CO2, 13-14% by vol; O2, 4.5-5% by vol; SO2, 15-25 mg/Nm3; NOx, 100 mg/Nm3. The flow rate is 320 Nm3/s at a temperature of 52°C.

Some investigation of the proposed storage site has been possible thanks to two old oil exploration wells. There are several sandstone reservoirs (which are good for CO2 storage) at 1200-2000 depth, with thick claystone cap-rock above the reservoirs (also good for storage). The plan is to perform seismic surveys this year, do test drillings in 2009 and make a go/no-go decision on site development in 2010, with storage available by 2013.

As well as Nordjyslandvaerket, Vattenfall is planning two other large scale CCS demo projects to be operational in the 2015 time frame, one in Germany, at Jänschwalde, employing oxyfuel, and one in Poland. Vattenfall's other CCS activities include the 30 MWt oxyfuel demonstration boiler at Schwarze Pumpe, due to start up in mid 2008, supported by five small (less than 0.5 MW) oxyfuel test rigs, at Gothenburg, Stuttgart, Dresden, Harburg and Jänschwalde. The company is also heavily involved in the large European pilot planned at Mongstad, Norway, which will trial post combustion capture at a gas fired plant. In addition Vattenfall is working on onshore CO2 storage projects at Ketzin and Altmark.

Meri-Pori considers capture

Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima have launched a project at their jointly owned 565 MWe Meri-Pori coal fired power plant in Finland to develop CO2 capture technology. The analysis of alternative technologies will take place during 2008 and detailed consideration of how the chosen technology could be deployed at the plant might start at the beginning of 2009. The objective is to make an investment decision in 2011 and thus have the system operational at Meri-Pori in 2015.

"Meri-Pori is well-suited for CO2 capture as it is a large plant that uses modern technology. This is an important step for Fortum since we are committed to keeping our emissions at the level of the best European companies. Already more than 80% of our electricity production is carbon dioxide-free. In our opinion, mitigating climate change requires that all coal-fired power plants are equipped with CO2 capture systems in the future. With this project, we are a forerunner", says Matti Ruotsala, President of the Power Generation business unit at Fortum.

After the CO2 is captured it will be transported for storage. Due to lack of suitable storage locations in Finland, the CO2 from Meri-Pori will be shipped abroad.

Fortum is testing CO2 capture at its Värtan PFBC (pressurised fluidised bed combustion) cogeneration plant in Stockholm, Sweden. The demonstration started in 2007 and involves a new technology (involving Sargas of Norway) that has produced promising results. Fortum will continue the demonstration in order to explore its suitability for large-scale use, although the fact that it is tailored to PFBC may limit wider application.

Material improvement

Existing capture technologies based on absorption by aqueous amines are at present unsuitable for widespread use. If they are not energy intensive and expensive they suffer from low absorption capacities and long term instability under recycling.

However, a solid adsorbent that may avoid most of these problems has now been discovered by a team of researchers from Georgia Tech and NETL (see J Am Chem Soc, 2008, 130, 2902-2903). The team successfully carried out carbon dioxide adsorption from a simulated flue gas stream using a covalently tethered hyperbranched aminosilica (HAS) material. The HAS was synthesised by a one-step reaction, spontaneous aziridine ring-opening polymerisation off surface silanols, to form a 32% by weight organic/inorganic hybrid material. The adsorption measurements were performed in a fixed-bed flow reactor using humidified CO2. The advantage of this adsorbent over previously reported adsorbents is the stability of the organic groups covalently bound to the silica support compared to those made by physisorbed methods.

Furthermore, a large CO2 capacity (~3 mmol CO2/g adsorbent) associated with the high loading of amines was observed – a capture rate up to seven times greater than conventional solid materials, including some of the best carbon dioxide adsorbents currently available, the researchers say. The material also shows greater stability under different temperature extremes, allowing it to be recycled numerous times.

Competition hots up in the UK...

The deadline for submission of entries to the pre-qualification phase of the UK government's carbon capture and storage competition was the end of March, and nine applications were received, among the applicants being E.ON (Kingsnorth), RWE (Tilbury), SSE (Ferrybridge?), Scottish Power (Longannet supercritical backfit), Powerfuel (Hatfield) and a consortium understood to consist of Alcan, Progressive Energy and Centrica (Lynemouth). Dong and BP are also thought to have entered.

IGSC flow scheme. It can be seen as a two-stage oxyfuel process

The eventual winner of the competition will receive funding to support commercial scale demonstration of post combustion capture (which is interpreted as including oxyfuel).

In this pre-qualification phase applicants will be assessed on "technical capability and capacity, and financial robustness – not their project." Over the next few weeks 3-5 bidders will be selected and invited to enter the "competition phase", which will include "staged discussions" on issues such as design, costs, supply chain management, financing, risks and insurance, and is likely to involve a "couple of iterations". There will then be a final invitation to submit bids, with the winning bidder due to be announced in mid-2009.

The eventual winning project must include transport and storage of CO2 in offshore geological sites, as well as capture. Implementation can be phased "providing that the full CCS chain is demonstrated by 2014 and the project captures around 90% of the CO2 produced by the equivalent of 300 MW generating capacity as soon as possible thereafter."

The competition rules specify that the capture process must be suitable for adoption by pulverised coal fired power plants, and should also be appropriate for both new build and retrofit applications, with a preferred capture rate of around 90% of the CO2 in the flue gas dispatched to the capture plant (although 85% may be acceptable under certain conditions but will receive a lower mark in the evaluation process).

E.ON's entry is based on its proposed Kingsnorth coal fired project in Kent which it plans to build capture ready.

E.ON has also proposed that a decision on its Kingsnorth planning application is not made until later in the year, following completion of the government's consultation into what will be required to make a coal-fired power station CCS-ready.

The company's entry into the CCS competition is supported by the following partners: Arup - project management; EPRI - international technology dissemination; Fluor - carbon capture technology supplier; MHI - carbon capture technology supplier; Penspen - pipeline system; and Tullow Oil - carbon dioxide storage.

Dr Paul Golby, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: "By making it clear we will use our proposed Kingsnorth site to develop CCS technology, we are addressing one of the fundamental issues in the whole debate: how can we demonstrate that carbon capture works on a commercial scale unless we first build a station which is CCS-ready and then fit the technology to that station? Moreover, how can we expect other nations such as China or India to adopt carbon capture technology unless we can demonstrate that it can be retrofitted?

"That is also why we are also proposing to government that the Kingsnorth planning decision is made following their consultation process, when we will all know exactly what is required by the government for a station to be deemed CCS-ready. Once the government's consultation process is complete and its results published, we can move forward accordingly."

E.ON is reducing its reliance on coal and oil in the UK by over 2.6 GW between now and 2015. This involves shutting 2.9 GW of coal power station capacity split between the existing Kingsnorth and Ironbridge power stations, closing the 1.3 GW Grain oil fired power station by the end of 2015 and building two new, more efficient CCS ready 800 MW coal units at Kingsnorth.

The RWE CCS proposal involves BOC, Cansolv Technologies, IM Skaugen, The Shaw Group and Tullow Oil. The utility has formed a partnership with these companies to deliver carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in the UK.

The first step for the partnership will be a 1 MW pilot-scale capture project at Aberthaw in South Wales. The plan is to have this operational by 2010 and then scale up the technology to 100 MW, and install it at its planned Tilbury supercritical plant.

BOC is a subsidiary of The Linde Group, with which RWE signed an agreement in 2007 for development of CO2 scrubbing technologies.

Cansolv Technologies is a provider of advanced flue gas desulphurisation and combustion-based CO2 capture solutions.

Oil company Tullow will be involved in demonstrating the use of depleted North Sea oil and gas fields for carbon storage, while IM Skaugen, a marine transportation services company, will be responsible for transport of the captured carbon.

It is perhaps surprising to see Powerfuel in the list of applicants as their focus, at least until recently, has been an IGCC with carbon capture and storage at Hatfield – and as a form of precombustion this is excluded from the UK government's competition. However Powerfuel's competition entry proposes to build an IGSC (integrated gasification single cycle) facility at Hatfield. In an IGSC, which is described as "pressurised oxyfuel cycle that uses water as a coolant" – see diagram above. Coal would be gasified in an oxygen blown quench gasifier and the resulting syngas combusted in a "fired expander" – ie a gas turbine fitted with CES direct steam generators instead of conventional burners (see Modern Power Systems, May 2006, pp 20-27). The modified gas turbine would drive a generator and its exhaust used to produce steam in an HRSG. This steam would be used to drive a turbine (which could be an existing turbine in the case of a repowering project).

...but has it "missed the boat"?

Although the UK capture competition seems to have attracted a healthy number of entries, not everyone is happy. Fitting carbon capture and storage technology could slash global power emissions by 28% by 2050 but "timidity and policy incoherence is holding back its large-scale deployment in the UK," according to a new report Is Britain ready for carbon capture? from the centre-right thank tank Policy Exchange (

According to the authors of the report, led by Prof Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh, confusion over government policy and timescales has caused some carbon capture and storage projects in the UK to be cancelled over the past year, notably the Peterhead project, which has moved to Abu Dhabi. The loss of this proposed plant has deprived the Treasury of £1 bn in oil revenues, the authors estimate, as the carbon recovered would have been stored in depleted oil reserves, thereby pushing out more oil.

As Tara Singh, Head of the Environment Unit at Policy Exchange and one of the report's authors, explains, "The Government's timetable for the first CCS plant [that to be funded under the UK government's post combustion capture competition] has slipped from 2009 to 2014. It is a single, small station...Britain could have taken an environmental lead by having a CCS plant operating as soon as next year at Petershead but the Government's failure to put in place a creative funding package means that the plant will now be built in Abu Dhabi."

The report examines why Petershead collapsed and questions the capacity for the three new gas-fired plants which received approval last year to be built 'capture ready' (ie able to have the carbon capture and storage technology strapped on) when the government has failed to specify what capture, transport and storage facilities would need to be retrofitted to such a plant.

Doosan Babcock plans 40 MWt oxyfuel burner demo

Doosan Babcock is modifying its Multi Fuel Burner Test Rig at Renfrew to demonstrate oxyfuel firing on a full scale pulverised coal plant burner.

The 40 MWt burner (of the Ferrybridge type) employed in the rig will be modified to operate on oxygen, diluted with recycled flue gas (predominantly carbon dioxide). The upgrade of the burner test facility, which will include design and build of the new burner (drawing on air fired experience, CFD modelling and oxyfuel R&D), provision of an oxygen supply and installation of a flue gas recycle system (fans, ducts, cooler, heater, etc) is expected to be complete early in 2009, with the first oxyfuel combustion demonstration by the end of March that year. The trials will encompass start-up and shut-down, transition from air to oxyfuel and load changes, and focus on such issues as flame stability, turndown, slagging and fouling, combustion efficiency, emissions, flame shape and heat transfer characteristics as a function of percentage CO2 recycle and excess oxygen.

Doosan Babcock's burner

The £7.4 million project, called Oxycoal 2, is being supported by the UK Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) under its Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Carbon Abatement Technologies (HFCCAT) Demonstration Programme and by a group of industrial sponsors comprising Scottish and Southern Energy (prime sponsor), E.ON (which has recently added oxyfuel combustion capability to its own 1 MW test rig at Ratcliffe), Drax Power, Scottish Power, EDF Energy, Dong, and Air Products, together with university partners, Imperial College and University of Nottingham.

Ian Marchant, CEO of SSE believes that "investing in demonstration projects is a fundamental part of developing the technology that will provide a technically viable solution for CO2 capture, combining well-proven commercially available components with minimal controlled risk."

Doosan Babcock's burner test rig

The new burner demo complements other collaborative pulverised coal capture research projects involving Doosan Babcock and its partners, including:

• Project 407, a technoeconomic study of converting existing plants to advanced supercritical (ASC) technology, rendering them capture ready and subsequently retrofitting amine scrubbing or oxyfuel firing. This project formed the basis for FEED studies on capture ready ASC backfit at SSE's Ferrybridge station (which did not proceed as the utility opted instead to look at 800 MWe supercritical new build) and at Scottish Power's Longannet and Cockenzie stations (still under consideration). The capture readiness design aspects have been incorporated in a tender for E.ON's proposed Kingsnorth plant.

• Project 366, a study of CO2 capture options for new build coal fired power plant (complete); and

• Oxycoal 1, a study of "underpinning technologies" (ongoing).

Several other boilermakers around the world are developing oxyfuel technology, for implementation in the 2010-12 time frame, but the Oxycoal 2 project will be the first to involve a full scale burner.

Doosan Babcock also points out that the burner type is representative of those used in wall fired furnaces widely used at operating coal plants around the world, and therefore findings from the tests will be potentially applicable to backfit projects.

The objectives of Vattenfall's Schwarze Pumpe 30 MWt oxyfuel demonstration plant currently under construction in Germany are rather different, and this employs what Doosan Babcock describes as a "non-typical" furnace.

Electrabel, E.ON and Hitachi look for solvent solutions...

Electrabel, E.ON Kraftwerke and Hitachi say they plan to co-operate on the design, build and operation of a test facility to investigate the behaviour of different solvents for CO2 capture from flue gases. The main aim of the project is the execution of scrubbing tests under real flue gas conditions with different chemical solvents. The test facility will be able to treat up to 5000 Nm3/h flue gas under real conditions and will be operated for four years, alternating between an Electrabel site and an E.ON Kraftwerke site. According to a press release issued by the companies "the pilot installation can move to locations in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium or other European countries whatever is technically most interesting."

Hitachi Power Europe will be responsible for the design, set up and the operation of the test facility. Electrabel and EON Kraftwerke will integrate the test facility into their power plants slowing test programmes to be performed in real conditions. E.ON says it is currently involved in no less than 44 projects in the CCS field. do BASF, RWE and Linde

BASF, RWE Power and The Linde Group have signed an agreement to develop new processes for capturing CO2 from coal fired power plants. Their research will focus on CO2 scrubbing, and involve the construction of a pilot facility at RWE's lignite-fired Niederaussem power plant in Germany.

The purpose of the pilot facility is the long-term testing of new solvents to capture CO2, and to gain a better understanding of the CO2 scrubbing process. The overall aim of the agreement is to apply CO2 capture technology commercially in lignite-fired power plants by 2020.

The scrubbing technology to be developed by the three companies should enable the removal of at least 90 per cent of the CO2 from power plant combustion gases. The CO2 will then be stored underground. BASF will supply the solvents while The Linde Group will be responsible for the engineering and construction of the pilot facility.

RWE Power has earmarked a budget of approximately r80 million for the project, including the construction and operation of the pilot facility and demonstration plants. The company's long-term "CO2 avoidance" strategy involves building high-efficiency coal fired power plants, developing power plants with efficiencies in excess of 50 per cent, and designing all its modern coal fired power plants so that they can eventually be equipped with CO2 capture technology.

Apart from CO2 scrubbing, RWE Power is also considering an IGCC+CCS project, although no site has yet been announced and funding issues need to be resolved.

Tenaska aims to be first in the USA

Tenaska, Inc is developing a site near Sweetwater, Texas, upon which to construct a 600 MWe coal-fuelled power plant with 90% carbon capture. The carbon dioxide would be sold for use in enhancing oil production in the Permian Basin, a form of geological storage.

An air permit application, the first formal step in gaining approval to build the plant, has been filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

The final decision to proceed with the project will be made in 2009 based on a number of factors, including the availability of local, state and federal incentives; final project cost estimates; and projected market prices for electricity and CO2. CO2 has been used to increase oil production in West Texas for more than 30 years.

"Construction could begin in late 2009 and be completed in 2014", says Tenaska, which seems a very ambitious timescale for what would be the USA's first coal fired plant with CCS.

Basin selects Powerspan for Antelope demo

Basin Electric Power Co-operative and Powerspan Corp have announced the selection of Powerspan's carbon dioxide capture technology for a commercial demonstration at Basin Electric's Antelope Valley coal fired power station, near Beulah, North Dakota.

About 1 million tons of CO2 will be captured annually from the 120 megawatt slipstream project. The captured CO2 will be fed into an existing CO2 compression and pipeline system owned by Basin Electric's wholly owned subsidiary, Dakota Gasification Company.

The announcement was the result of what was said to be the first competitive solicitation process for a CO2 capture demonstration at a coal-based power plant in the US. Six companies responded to the request for proposals issued by Basin Electric in June 2007. Powerspan's CO2 capture process was selected as the most promising low cost option for commercial deployment and for its ability to best integrate with Basin Electric's operations.

The project is scheduled to move forward in 2009, subject to successful completion of engineering studies and obtaining of necessary permits and government support under incentive schemes for early demonstrations of CO2 capture and sequestration. The facility is expected to be operational in 2012.

Powerspan's CO2 capture process, ECO2, is a post-combustion, regenerative process, which uses an ammonia-based solution.

CO2 plume monitoring at Otway Basin

Australia has launched the Otway Basin pilot sequestration project, which will see injection of carbon dioxide in a depleted gas field in southeastern Australia, with very extensive monitoring.

The $36 million Otway Basin pilot project is one of 19 sequestration projects endorsed by the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), an international climate change initiative that focuses on the development of technologies to cost-effectively capture and sequester CO2. The project is directed by Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). Project partners include DOE and a variety of other public and private organizations.

Up to 100 000 metric tons of CO2 will be injected more than a mile beneath the earth's surface. The Otway Basin has a large source of natural CO2 and an abundance of now-depleted gas fields containing rock formations with a geologic history of storage permanence. CO2 will be produced from an existing well, then compressed to a supercritical state to more efficiently move and store it at a final location.

In research sponsored by the DoE Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed instrumentation will be used to track the CO2 plume during and after the injection. Sophisticated seismic techniques will provide data about the location, migration, and permanent storage of the CO2 plume, which will be more than a mile deep.

Callide A oxyfuel project moves forward

Following the signing of agreements between the project's Australian and Japanese partners, construction of the $206 million Callide A oxyfuel project at Biloela in Central Queensland will begin early next year with the 30 MW facility scheduled to start producing electricity by the end of 2010. The project – a flagship activity of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) – is a collaborative effort funded by the Australian federal government, the Queensland-government-owned utility CS Energy, the Australian Coal Association's COAL21 Fund, Xstrata Coal, Schlumberger, the Japanese government and Japanese participants, JPower, Mitsui and IHI Corporation.

Callide A

The project will see the retrofitting of a coal-fired boiler at Callide A power station with oxy-firing, which will burn coal in a mixture of oxygen and re-circulated flue gases. This will create a highly concentrated stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) suitable for capture and storage deep underground in geological formations west of the power station (MPS, May 2007, p 45).

IHI has done pilot scale (1.2 MWt) testing of oxyfuel firing at Aioi in Japan, including trials with Callide coal.

Alstom keeps its capture options open

With the signing of the recent joint development and commercialisation agreement with Dow, the world's biggest producer of amines, on advanced amine scrubbing for CO2 capture, Alstom has further diversified its capture technology portfolio for coal fired plants.

Nevertheless a major effort continues on the company's proprietary chilled ammonia process. This was the subject of a development agreement recently signed with TransAlta of Canada, envisaging eventual retrofitting of the technology to one of its coal plants west of Edmonton.

Another recent milestone for Alstom's chilled ammonia has been the launching, with US partners EPRI and We Energies, of a pilot project at the Pleasant Prairie coal plant in Wisconsin to demo the technology.

Alstom designed, constructed and will operate the 1.7 MW system that is to capture CO2 from a portion of the flue gas at We Energies' 1224 MWe Pleasant Prairie plant.

Alstom has other chilled ammonia development projects with AEP (USA), Statoil (Norway) and E.ON (Sweden). The company is also involved in two oxyfuel projects, Vattenfall's 30 MWt demo lignite boiler under construction at Schwarze Pumpe and Total's project to retrofit a 32 MWt gas fired boiler at its Lacq complex in south western France.

Searching in Schleswig-Holstein

Under a project funded by the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and RWE Dea AG, geological surveys are be carried out this year with a view to finding potential sites for carbon dioxide disposal.

Following the allocation last year of research grants of the order of u25 million to the University of Kiel and the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR to investigate methods of CO2 sequestration under land and sea, preliminary investigations indicate that northern Germany is worthy of consideration as a potential location for the storage of CO2. A prerequisite for such a storage facility is the existence of saltwater-bearing rock formations, such as are found below the North German lowland plain, and compared with the other states, Schleswig-Holstein offers very favourable, possibly ideal, conditions.

Against this background, RWE Dea has applied for permission from the State Department for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) to explore three regions in Schleswig-Holstein to determine their suitability for CO2 storage. These regions are in North Frisia, East Holstein and offshore under the North Sea, outside the twelve-mile zone.

Collaborating with China

What are the aims of the China-UK collaboration on Near Zero Emissions Coal (UK NZEC) and where has it got to? An opportunity to find answers to these questions arises for anyone who happens to be at the Beijing Railway Hotel, 10am-12pm, 15 May, when UK NZEC will hold an open briefing session. To register, email Zhang Jiutian, [email protected]

The UK NZEC has its origins in a September 2005 EU-China summit declaration on climate change & energy: "We will aim to achieve the following co-operation goals by 2020: to develop and demonstrate in China and the EU advanced, near-zero emissions coal technology through carbon capture and storage."

The agreement was followed by a China–UK MoU in December 2005 establishing UK NZEC Phase 1. The declaration also spawned another programme, COACH (COoperation Action within CCS CHina-EU), which is a China–Europe collaboration launched under a February 2006 MoU between China and the EC.

UK NZEC Phase 1, which is being managed by UK consultants AEA in partnership with the Administrative Centre for China's Agenda 21 (ACCA21), is being supported by up to £3.5m of funding from the UK government and is being carried out in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

The aim of Phase 1, which was officially launched at a signing ceremony on 20 November 2007 in Beijing, and will run until June 2009, is to:

• Enable knowledge transfer between Chinese and UK parties (academic, industrial and other).

• Model the future energy requirements of China, taking CCS technology into account.

• Produce case studies of potential carbon dioxide capture technologies.

• Build capacity in China for evaluation of storage potential for CO2 and perform first stage characterisations for selection of sites suitable for CO2 storage. And

• Develop a technical and policy level roadmap for CCS.

Phase 2 will consist of further development work on storage and capture options, leading to Phase 3, which is envisaged as construction of a demonstration plant in China, to be commissioned by 2014.

As well as AEA, the other UK industrial and academic partners are Air Products, Alstom, BP, British Geological Survey, Doosan Babcock, Heriot Watt University, Imperial College, and Shell. Within China, ACCA21 will co-ordinate the input of the Chinese partner organisations, which include BP Clean Energy Research and Education Centre, Tsinghua University (THCEC), Centre for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), China United Coalbed Methane Co Ltd, China University of Petroleum (Beijing and HuaDong), Tsinghua University, Energy Research Institute (ERI), GreenGen, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Engineering Thermophysics and Institute of Geology and Geophysics , Jilin Oilfield, North China Electric Power University (NCEPU), PetroChina, State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering (Tsinghua), Thermal Power Research Institute, Wuhan University, and Zhejiang University)

How does it differ from COACH?

The focus of COACH, which is partially funded by the EU under FP6

(r1.6 million), is pre combustion CCS and polygeneration. It is addressing three issues:

• Coal gasification, polygeneration schemes and CCS.

• Identification of potential geological storage sites for CO2 and EOR opportunities in China. And

• Funding mechanisms, regulatory framework and public acceptance.

The COACH project is investigating large sources of CO2 in Shandong Province, and potential geological storage sites in the onshore Bohai Basin, south of Beijing. The areas of interest being investigated for geological storage under NZEC, COACH and the GeoCapacity research programme are mutually complementary.

Babcock Power & ThermoEnergy work for TIPS

Babcock Power Inc of Danvers, MA and ThermoEnergy Corporation have announced the signing of an MoU as a prelude to the formation of a joint effort to commercialise a zero air emission power plant concept called TIPS (ThermoEnergy Integrated Power System). TIPS (US Patent Number 6 196 000), which is based on pressurised oxyfuel combustion technology. Alex Fassbender, President of ThermoEnergy Power Systems, LLC said that "with relatively few unit operations, TIPS enhances power plant reliability, while its process efficiency comes from recovering the latent heat of vaporisation of produced and entrained water. Adding a second reheat to the steam cycle...coupled with a simple, low-energy process to recover pipeline quality CO2 gives TIPS a competitive edge over other conversion technologies."

Babcock and ThermoEnergy will begin work immediately to finalise the data needed to design, construct and operate a large-scale pilot plant at a host site.

One potential use for the large quantities of CO2 that TIPS could produce is stored energy for peak power demands, argues ThermoEnergy, which says it has identified several turbine reheat steps involving the use of what it calls "spent CO2".

TIPS is said to be retrofittable to existing coal-fired plants. It requires the addition of an air separation plant and replacement of the combustion boiler and exhaust train. "The remaining portions of the power plant are readily useable", says ThermoEnergy.

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