BASF, Linde and RWE carry out further CO2 capturing tests

11 March 2011 15:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Industrial gases major Linde, chemical giant BASF and power utility RWE said on Friday that a further €6m ($8.2m) will be invested into their co-developed process to capture carbon dioxide (CO2).

All three Germany-based groups have been testing technology for separating CO2 from flue gas in a pilot plant at RWE’s Niederaussem power station near Cologne since 2009.

The process captures CO2 by means of new chemical solvents developed by BASF and can reduce energy input by about 20%, the companies said.

Tests have shown the technology allows more than 90% of CO2 in a power plant's waste gas to be captured for subsequent sub-surface storage or for chemical transformation, the companies added.

“Efficient CO2 scrubbing is key to the success of carbon capture and storage technology, i.e. the removal and storage of carbon dioxide,” Johannes Lambertz, RWE CEO, said.

“Together with our partners, we want to move CCS [carbon capture and storage] forward as an enabling technology for low-polluting electricity generation from coal,” Lambertz added.

The plant will go through a long-term test from March until the end of 2013 to identify an optimum solvent.

“As we continue this highly successful cooperative venture, we are very confident that we will further optimise and develop this technology to have it ready for commercial use by 2013,” said Stefan Blank, BASF senior vice president, who heads the amines Europe business unit in BASF’s Intermediates division.

Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is sponsoring the innovative project to the tune of about €4m. The ministry has already invested €4.5m at the project's start in 2007. At the time, RWE earmarked about €80m for the project.

The companies said long-term test results should provide valuable information for the large-scale use of CCS technology, which leading members of Geneva, Switzerland-based scientific body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe has a key role to play in combating climate change.

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($1 = €0.73)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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