Aker Clean Carbon’s research and development programme SOLVit, was initiated with the research organisation, SINTEF and The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (“NTNU”) in 2008. The programme has a framework of NOK 317 million (€ 41 million) and strategic industrial partners are supporting the programme actively.
Gassnova SF - the Norwegian government’s vehicle for management and support of Carbon Capture and Storage (“CCS”) projects and technology development - is supporting the programme.
Stage 2 (on-going)
Today, EnBW Energie Bade-Württemberg AG (“EnBW”) and Aker Clean Carbon (“ACC”) have signed an agreement for cooperation during stage 2 of SOLVit. The programme is focusing on improvements of post combustion capture processes and important topics are addressed during stage 2, such as:
- Selection of a “green and energy efficient” solvent
- Focus on emission and degradation measurements in pilots
- Develop emission control systems
The EnBW’s carbon capture pilot in Heilbronn in Germany will be integrated as part of the on-going programme. Two comprehensive test campaigns are scheduled to be run in the pilot during next year. The EnBW pilot has a capture rate of 300 kg of CO2 per hour and is connected to a 816 MWel, gross coal fired power station. The operating results will be compared to similar data from the Tiller R&D pilot rig in Trondheim and the Mobile Test Unit (“MTU”), presently operating at the National Carbon Capture Centre in Alabama, USA.
“EnBW is adding a new dimension to the SOLVit programme and we are delighted to have them on the team. EnBW is a strong European Energy company and has invested in a carbon capture pilot. It is very valuable for us to develop our technology in close cooperation with industrial partners such as EnBW”, says Liv Monica Stubholt, CEO in ACC.
More than 80 solvent systems have been screened so far in the SINTEF and NTNU laboratories, and the best candidates have been selected for long term testing in the pilots. E.ON has been an active partner in SOLVit from the start and has now entered into stage 2.
“E.ON is a leading Energy company. E.ON’s experience and knowledge are adding great value to SOLVit. We appreciate E.ON’s commitment and interest, and are pleased to continue to work with E.ON and their skilled engineers”, says Ms. Stubholt.
Stage 1, main achievements
The MTU and the Tiller rig were successfully started up, and two different reclaimer systems were tested. The MTU has been operated on alternative solvent systems for various flue gases from gas and coal fired power stations. More than 16 000 operating hours have been achieved and seven major emission campaigns were carried out in the initial phase. About 45 different degradation products have been identified by advanced analytical instruments and methods by SINTEF, and this knowledge gives a better understanding of the chemistry in the capture process.
A 35 % energy reduction in the carbon capture process was proven by a combination of improved solvents and process design. Advanced amine solvent systems were proven significant more robust against degradation compared with 30 wt-% MEA, during long term testing of industrial flue gases.
SOLVit R&D Programme goals
The main goals of the SOLVit R&D programme is to develop functional and environmental friendly post combustion systems, utilising novel absorption chemistry and adapted process design, enabling a breakthrough in terms of reducing the cost of CO2 capture. The technical target is to demonstrate a 50 % reduction in energy demand of the capture process within 2016, based on a reference case from 2008. A significant reduction in the “parasitic” energy load from the capture process is crucial for power utilities and the supplier of carbon capture plants moving forward. SINTEF is involved in several activities while NTNU has six PhD and ten master students engaged in the programme.