The chemical industry continues to show it can provide solutions to the problem or global warming. In Germany, BASF and Linde have been working with RWE Power to develop carbon capture technology to remove carbon dioxide from the exhaust gases of a lignite-fed power station at Niederaussem.
Already underway for four years, the project has just been extended, with another 6m euros invested, to optimise the scrubbing agents and equipment.
Different scrubbing agents have been tested since the pilot plant was commissioned in 2009, in three test phases of six months each, to identify an optimum solvent developed by BASF. Compared with processes commonly used, the energy input can be reduced by about 20% when using the new chemical solvent for CO2 capture.
The new scrubbing agent also comes with increased stability and resistance to oxygen. This reduces the solvent consumption substantially.
In the test phase starting now and lasting to 2013, the structure of the CO2 absorber will be optimised by Linde so that carbon dioxide can be removed more effectively from the flue gas.