ap_vattenfallOn May 5, 2011 Air Products announced its proprietary carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, purification and compression system at Vattenfall AB's research and development facility in Schwarze Pumpe, Germany is onstream and performing a key role in the world's premier demonstration of oxyfuel carbon capture.


Vattenfall, one of Europe's leading energy companies, held an inaugural ceremony today at the facility which hosts what is viewed globally as the preeminent CO2 oxyfuel project. Air Products’ technology is focusing specifically on the purification and compression of oxyfuel combustion flue gas during the scheduled three year demonstration project.

“At Air Products we have been engaged in innovative oxyfuel solutions for decades. Through working with leading partners all over the world, one of our goals is to develop technologies that reduce the cost of capturing CO2,” said David J. Taylor, vice president - Energy Businesses at Air Products. “In working with companies like Vattenfall, which is leading the field in CO2 capture solutions, we can help validate our unique CO2 purification and compression capabilities. These technologies have the potential to fulfill environmental targets around the world.”

Hubertus Altmann, head of the Power Plant Unit of Vattenfall in Germany is pleased with the transatlantic collaboration on this project. “Increasing efficiency is one of the crucial tasks when developing CCS (carbon capture and storage). In a few years, the technology will be competitive in the market and in order to reach that goal there remains a lot of R&D to be done. It’s important for international companies such as Air Products and Vattenfall to join forces and cooperate on projects like the one we are celebrating today,” said Altmann.

At the Schwarze Pumpe facility, Air Products will take flue gas directly off Vattenfall's 30 megawatt (MW) wall-fired boiler at the oxyfuel pilot plant. It will purify and compress the carbon dioxide to a purity acceptable for storage or enhanced oil recovery. Air Products' proprietary sour compression technology uses a staged compression process to optimize pressure, hold-up, and residence time to allow removal of impurities during the compression process. This allows cost savings in the oxyfuel combustion process and minimizes the concentration of acidic components, important in preventing corrosion during the CO2 storage process. This pilot will demonstrate the efficient purification of CO2, and removal of atmospheric gases, in particular oxygen. In addition, it will incorporate novel membrane technology, targeting carbon capture rates as high as 98 percent. More information on Air Products’ CO2 purification technologies can be found at www.airproducts.com/CO2_capture.

Vattenfall inaugurated the 30 MW pilot plant for carbon dioxide capture at its lignite coal-fired power plant at Schwarze Pumpe in September 2008. Based on the conclusions from this pilot plant, the next step will be to build larger demonstration power plants, for which feasibility studies have already been initiated and target on-stream status for 2015. More information on Vattenfall's carbon capture technology is at http://www.vattenfall.com/en/ccs/index.htm

Air Products is currently working on several CCS projects around the world for the power market. These projects include:

  • Air Products will design, construct and operate a state-of-the-art system to capture CO2 from its two steam methane reformers (SMR) located at a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, United States. The CO2 removal technology will be retrofitted to the SMRs, which produce hydrogen to assist in the making of cleaner burning transportation fuels by refinery customers on Air Products’ Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network. Approximately one million tons of CO2 annually will be recovered, purified by Air Products, and delivered by Air Products via a pipeline for injection into enhanced oil recovery projects in Texas.
  • Working with Shanxi International Energy Group Co., Ltd (SIEG) to perform a feasibility study and reference plant design on its proprietary oxyfuel carbon dioxide (CO2) purification technology for potential installation at SIEG’s 350 MW Oxyfuel Electrical Generation Demonstration Project.
  • In collaboration with the Alberta Energy Research Institute in Canada, a study focusing on advanced CO2 capture technology for use with gasification.
  • In cooperation with DOE, Air Products designed and constructed a CO2 purification system in support of an oxyfuel technology development project at a boiler simulation facility in Windsor, Connecticut, United States.
  • Air Products demonstrated oxyfuel sour compression technology in experimental work carried out by Imperial College London with flue gas from a 160 kilowatt coal-fired combustion installation at Doosan Power Systems’ facility in Renfrew, Scotland, as part of the Oxycoal-UK Project.