RWE, Linde and BASF report that tests in a pilot plant at RWE’s Niederaussem power station near Cologne of new chemical solvents for capturing carbon dioxide from flue gas reduce the required energy input by about 20%. (Earlier post.) The new solvents also feature clearly superior oxygen stability, which reduces solvent consumption significantly.
The practical tests met all of the expectations we had after lab-testing the new solvent. This paves the way for scaling up the process to large power plants.—Dr. Andreas Northemann, Business Manager, Global Gas Treatment, BASF Intermediates division.
The three companies started up the pilot plant in August 2009; it is part of the Coal Innovation Center of RWE Power. BASF is testing the newly developed carbon capture process based on improved solvents in the course of this cooperation announced in 2007. Linde was responsible for pilot plant engineering and construction.
Now the partners are working on solutions for demonstration and large-scale power plants. First demonstration plants are scheduled to come on stream in 2015, and CO2 capture is expected to be used commercially in coal-fired power stations by 2020. This technology should allow more than 90% of the carbon dioxide contained in the waste gas of a power plant to be captured for subsequent sub-surface storage or for chemical transformation, for example to give fertilizers.