SINTEF, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Aker Clean Carbon are to work together to develop new chemicals and processes to capture CO2 emissions from power stations under the auspices of a £30m eight-year programme called SOLVit.
Gassnova SF – the Norwegian government’s vehicle for CO2 management (capture, transport, injection and storage) – has approved £3.4m in support of the first phase of the project, which runs until the end of 2010.
Aker Clean Carbon and SINTEF have already developed many processes to capture CO2 using amines, one of which is already ready to use. Phase one of the SOLVit programme will be used to test other amine solutions under development by the two companies.
In phase two and three of SOLVit, the companies will attempt to develop new chemical solutions to make the CO2 removal process less expensive. Their aim is to come up with a process facility for CO2 capture that can operate using half the energy that is consumed by processes presently in use.
As part of the programme, a new laboratory will be built at Tiller in Trondheim, at a cost of around £4m, of which SINTEF will contribute roughly £2.5m.
The lab will be a test centre for pilot projects, and will include a 30m-tall tower and a 25m-high processing column – identical to the height of those used in full-scale industrial facilities. The lab will also be available for SINTEF’s domestic and international customers and partners.
The SOLVit programme will also involve the testing of chemicals and processes in a mobile capture facility, which has been developed by Aker Clean Carbon and is currently being built at Aker Verdal.
The mobile facility is large enough to process emissions from power stations and industrial sites for several months at a time.