Carbon capture down under

In a first for Australia, carbon dioxide has been captured from power station flue gases at the Loy Yang Power Station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The Post-Combustion-Capture (PCC) technique used a liquid to capture CO2 from the power station flue gases.

Such techniques could potentially reduce CO2 emissions from existing and future coal-fired power stations by more than 85 per cent, according to Dr David Brockway, the energy technology chief at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

‘Coal is the primary fuel for over 80 per cent of Australia’s current power supply so we need to find ways to make it a cleaner energy source. This is the first time anyone in the Southern Hemisphere has captured CO2 using the PCC process at a power station and we are thrilled we’ve been able to prove the technology,’ said Dr Brockway.

The 10.5m high pilot plant is designed to capture up to 1000 tonnes of CO2 per annum from the power station’s exhaust-gas flues. Future trials will involve the use of a range of different CO2-capture liquids.

CSIRO is undertaking similar PCC research at Munmorah near New Soth Wales and Beijing in China, and is negotiating the installation of another pilot plant at a Queensland site.

The project is part of the Latrobe Valley Post Combustion Capture Project – a joint collaboration between Loy Yang Power, International Power Hazelwood, government and researchers from CSIRO and the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), which includes Monash and Melbourne Universities.

The Loy Yang component of the project has been supported by the Victorian Government with A$2.5m through its Energy Technology Innovation Strategy.

The PCC pilot rig at Loy Yang Power Station has captured carbon dioxide for the first time