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Cutting Cost of CO2 Capture in Process Industry

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions is one the most important challenges of our time. The four year CO2stCap project will investigate where and how CO2 capture may be applied cost efficiently to the process industry. The working hypothesis is that cost reductions of at least 20% should be possible to achieve through implementing partial capture and technological optimizations.

The carbon capture and storage process
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The energy intensive process industry has a series of tools to reduce their emissions of CO2: increased use of solar and wind power as well as biomass, energy efficiency measures, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The CO2stCap project will investigate where and how partial CO2 capture may be applied cost efficiently to emission intensive industry, focusing on cement, pulp and paper, steel and ferroalloys. 

The project will take into account that individual plants may have several scattered CO2-sources of varying quality, that the possibilities for heat supply differs between plants, and the possibility to capture from bio-energy. The project will investigate if targeting the most suitable CO2 sources at individual sites could drastically reduce the cost of CO2 capture.

In process industry, utilization of waste heat energy may reduce the need for additional energy supply, or even eliminate the need completely. The project’s working hypothesis is that cost reductions of around at least 20% should be possible to achieve through implementing partial capture including associated technological optimizations. Even if waste heat amounts are limited on a given site, capture cost may be reduced. The overall aim is, thus, to suggest a cost effective carbon capture strategy for future CCS systems considering utilization of waste heat and intermittent power generation, a more efficient use of biomass resources, different capture technologies and optimization, as well as changed market conditions.

CO2stCap will run for four years with funding from CLIMIT-Demo, The Swedish Energy Agency and participating industry and research partners. The work will be performed by Tel-Tek (coordinator), Telemark University College, Chalmers, Swerea MEFOS and Innventia in close cooperation with industry partners Elkem, SSAB, Norcem and AGA Gas as well as Clobal CCS Institute and IEA Environmental Projects.

The project will focus strongly on developing tools for technical-economic analyses and cost estimation of CO2 capture technologies in different industries. Innventia has developed simulation models built up in the software WinGEMS to simulate the performance of modern market pulp mills. The model allows for estimations of effects on material and energy balances of the paper mill when implementing different types of modifications or when adding new equipment and/or material flows to or from the mill such as adding a unit for capture of CO2 from one or several of the flue gases from the mill. This information is essential when evaluating the techno-economic effects of making these modifications. 

One specific challenge for the pulp mill is that the available low temperature heat possible to use for CO2 capture has a relatively high use and value compared to other industries, and that the excess heat is at too low temperature. Ways to overcome this challenge will be investigated in the project. An additional challenge is that the economic incentives for capture of CO2 which originates from biomass, which is the case in the pulp and paper industry, are unclear.