R&D: CCS - our project to capture carbon dioxide emissions
Climate change resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide CO2 and other greenhouse gases is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.
In order to contribute to a solution, Vattenfall has initiated a long-term research and development project for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
The project to capture carbon dioxide
Focusing on capturing and storing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants, the project is designed to achieve secure, cost-effective and feasible technologies for an almost complete elimination of carbon dioxide emissions – allowing us to produce energy that does not contribute to global warming.
The idea is to capture carbon dioxide from the power plant’s flue gases, compress it into a liquid, and permanently store it deep underground in suitable geological formations. Most of the carbon dioxide will dissolve in the reservoir water, and then very slowly mineralise. An important part of the project involves identifying and assessing the local environmental impact of CO2 capture, transport and storage.
The pilot plant
Vattenfall has built a 30 MW pilot plant for carbon dioxide capture at the lignite-fired power plant at Schwarze Pumpe, Germany. The plant was inaugurated in September 2008. At the pilot plant, test are performed to evaluate the technology before building a larger scale demonstration plant.
Furthermore Vattenfall’s daughter company Nuon has started the preparations for a carbon dioxide capture pilot at the Willem Alexander power plant in Buggenum in the Netherlands. Because the Willem Alexander power plant uses gasification technology, it is the ideal location to test pre-combustion capture of carbon dioxide. The pilot started in August 2010.