CFB unit tests carbon capture

Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract by Spain’s Fundación Ciudad de la Energía (CIUDEN) for the design and supply of a circulating fluidised-bed (CFB) unit.

The CFB unit will be used to test Foster Wheeler’s Flexi-Burn carbon-capturing CFB technology.

This unit will be part of CIUDEN’s Integrated Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Technology Development Plant (TDP), located near Endesa’s Compostilla power plant in Ponferrada, Spain.

Foster Wheeler will design and supply the 30MWth Flexi-Burn CFB test unit and some auxiliary equipment, and provide site advisory services for the project.

Flexi-Burn is Foster Wheeler’s carbon-capture technology, based on oxygen combustion for coal plants.

Unlike pre-combustion (IGCC plant) or post-combustion technologies (amine CO2scrubber placed behind conventional coal boilers), oxygen-combustion technologies allow the boiler to produce a CO2-rich flue gas, reducing the need for expensive and energy-intensive CO2 gas separation equipment.

The CIUDEN unit will be designed to test burn a range of domestic (anthracite) and imported coals, as well as biomass.

One of the objectives of the incorporation of this unit into the TDP is to validate Foster Wheeler’s Flexi-Burn CFB technology at the required scale before proceeding to a possible full-scale demonstration plant.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed and the contract value will be included in the company’s first-quarter 2010 bookings.

The unit is expected to be operational by the second half of 2011, with testing programmes expected to follow shortly thereafter.