Breakthrough in materials technology offers prospect of cheaper CCS

A UK-based company claims to have made a breakthrough that could see the price of carbon capture and storage projects drop by up to 50 per cent.

Carbon Clean Solutions says the results of its latest “highly successful” pilot project saw innovations in solvents that could make an impact on the expense of CCS, a much-maligned feature of the technology.
Carbon Clean Solutions
The pilot, undertaken at the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) in Norway from November 2015 to March 2016, tested a drop-in solvent for capturing carbon emissions using CCSL’s new APBS chemical. During the pilot, CCSL recorded very low levels of corrosion from the solvent – a result that may mean developers could use cheaper steel to construct CCS plants.

Based on the results, the firm calculated it could be possible to construct 50 per cent of a plant using carbon steel rather than stainless steel, reducing the capital expenditure for commercial-scale plants by up to 25 per cent.

The company also said the solvent operates at lower temperatures, using around 27 per cent less thermal energy during the capture process compared to standard solvents.

Although the results are still being reviewed, an earlier independent test at the University of Kentucky suggested the approach could cut energy costs for CCS projects by 50 per cent.

Aniruddha Sharma, chief executive of CCSL, told Business Green the results could mean CCS will soon become “economically viable”.

“This pilot demonstrates a breakthrough in carbon capture technology, in terms of our ability to dramatically reduce corrosion, energy demand and solvent emissions,” she said in a statement. “This translates to cost savings, both operational and upfront, which we believe will make carbon capture storage and reuse economically viable in the near future.”

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