Reporting on the EC FP7 Projects: Leading the way in CCS implementation Workshop, 14-15 April 2014, London

Written by Abigail Ward, Technology Manager at the School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering at the University of Leeds

**Available presentations can be accessed via links throughout the article**
 

The EC FP7 Projects: Leading the way in CCS implementation Technical Workshop was jointly organised by the EC FP7 Project CO2QUEST and the UKCCSRC. The CO2QUEST management team would like to thank the UKCCSRC for sponsoring the event, and in particular, Steph Wright for organisational input and for her contagious enthusiasm throughout the two-day event. We would also like to thank UCL for kindly hosting the event.

Undoubtedly, the biggest success of event was the diversity of delegates and speakers that were brought together for the dissemination activity. In addition to CO2QUEST, a number of central EU CCS projects were represented, including IoLiCAP, CO2PipeHaz, MUSTANG, PANACEA, TRUST, IMPACTS and OCTAVIUS. Congratulations must be given to Dr Robert Woolley, Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, for attaining such an interesting agenda, which resulted in collaboratively beneficial discussions, both during the sessions and during the recessions.

We were also appreciative to host a representative from National Grid at the event, to provide an industry’s perspective on CCS (more on this later). As a result, the workshop provided an overview of the current status of CCS in the EU, from fundamental modelling and experimental work, to large-scale pilot demonstrations and near-term commercial applications.

Brief technical summaries of the presentations follow, which will shortly be available to download from the CO2QUEST website.  Please refer to these for further information, and feel free to approach the individual presenters or contact Dr Robert Woolley at the University of Leeds for further information.

Now, to the event itself…

DAY 1

The workshop was held at University College London’s Bloomsbury Campus on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th April 2014. On Monday morning, 47 delegates were welcomed by some attractive fruit pastries and subsequently by Prof Haroun Mahgerefteh (UCL) who inspirationally chaired the workshop. Prof Mahgerefteh welcomed everybody to the event, and set the context for the remainder of the event, by stating “What is good for the pipeline is not necessarily good for storage”, drawing focus upon CCS being considered as a chain, and as such, considerations will have to be made at each stage, to ensure that the overall system functions effectively and safely.

Prof Mahgerefteh provided an overview of the CO2QUEST project and outlined the partners involved and the work packages that form the programme. CO2QUEST is concerned with providing a techno-economic assessment addressing the concentration of impurities that may be acceptable in the CO2 stream to enable its safe and cost-effective capture, transportation and storage. The project objective is to provide tools to establish recommendations for the development of relevant standards for the safe design and operation of CCS in the EU.

Next to present was Dr George Romanos, a senior researcher from the NCSR Demokritos, Greece. Dr Romanos introduced Ionic Liquids (ILs) and explained their potential uses in CO2 capture processes. As part of the IoLiCAP project, 20 ILs have been successfully characterised, and experimental work has shown that they can be used to reduce amine content (reducing toxicity) whilst maintaining the same levels of CO2 solubility. ILs are more effectively recoverable than amines in established technologies, and are not lost to the atmosphere or the process stream. As such, the introduction of ILs to the capture process moves operational costs to capital cost.

Next, Dr Robert Woolley from the University of Leeds, UK, summarised the outcomes of the successful CO2PipeHaz project which was recently concluded. Dr Woolley explained that the accidental release of CO2 from pressurised pipelines in the transport phase of the CCS cycle can be considered to be three separate elements: in-pipe flow, near-field dispersion, and far-field dispersion. These three elements can be individually modelled and integrated to simulate a hypothetical ‘realistic’ release. Such simulations can be used in future risk assessments to help identity the potential hazard of CO2 releases to surrounding populations of a pipeline.

Returning to developments from CO2QUEST, Dr Sergey Martynov, a Research Associate at UCL, explored issues surrounding impure CO2 and the effects upon compression and pumping requirements. The initial observations made are that the current compression penalty for a coal-fired power plant is approximately 10% of power requirement.  As such, improvements in the design and operation of compression, transportation and injection technologies have to be made. Thermodynamic analysis of CO2 compression showed that there is a 15% increase in power requirements between pure CO2 and a hypothetical Oxyfuel exhaust.

After a short break, Prof Auli Niemi introduced the delegation to the FP7 Project MUSTANG. The objective of the programme is to develop a methodology for the qualification of saline aquifers for CO2 geological storage. Improved field-monitoring methods that have been developed as part of the programme have been used at 7 test injection sites across the EU. This field work provides input data for simulation models for the injection and storage of CO2. Prof. Niemi discussed the test sites and the aims of each experiment, and how the results will feed into models for CO2 trapping and spread in geological stores.

Dr Alexandre Morin, a Research Scientist at SINTEF Energy Research, then gave an overview of IMPACTS, which addresses the impact of impurities in CO2 captured from power plants and CO2-intensive industries with the aim of ensuring safe and reliable transport, injection and storage solutions. IMPACTS and CO2QUEST can be thought of as sister projects, and the presence of representatives from the two was beneficial in terms of collaborative exchange. Dr Morin discussed the structure of the programme, and the key objectives of each work package.

Dr Niemi returned to present on behalf of Jacob Bensebat (EWRE) on the PANACEA and TRUST projects. Dr Niemi explained that PANACEA is a modelling project, aimed at predicting and monitoring the long-term behavior of CO2 injected in deep geological formations. The project is based on 49 natural CO2 reservoirs, with a particular focus on brine mitigation and CO2 leakage. She then explained that TRUST continues the field work conducted as part of MUSTANG project discussed earlier.

Following Dr Niemi was Dr Richard Porter, a research fellow at the University of Leeds, who discussed the range and levels of expected impurities in CO2 streams as a result of different capture processes, and what parameters can affect this mixture. He discussed each of the capture processes in detail and presented data on the composition of streams, with reference to how to remove the impurities.  Dr Porter also dicussed impurities from the non-power industrial sector.

After lunch, the focus moved away from research and experimental work, to the application of CCS. Russell Cooper, the Design and Innovation Manager for CCS at National Grid, presented the Oxy-Power CCS plant that will be installed at Drax Power Station Site  as part of the White Rose CCS Project. The projected commercial operation date is 2021-2023, and it is expected to capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year, with the saline formation in the southern North Sea having a capacity of 200 million tonnes. The capacity of this store is far beyond the needs of the White Rose project, which is a positive sign for the future of CCS projects in the UK. National Grid will be responsible for the development and delivery of the transport and storage network, and as such, he outlined the CO2 quality specifications that will be expected, and explained that of great concern is water content, based on recent publication results on corrosion.

Further insights into the IMPACTS project were then provided, again presented by Dr Alexandre Morin. Dr Morin explored one of the work packages, Transient fluid dynamics of CO2 mixtures in pipelines, in more detail. He began by discussing the need to treat CO2 differently to natural gas, which we already have the transport infrastructure for. He then went on to say that there is a lack of experimental data and verified models for CCS. Dr. Morin talked us through the steps of fluid-dynamical modelling for this application, and informed us that the thermo-physical effects of four impurities have successfully been quantified as part of this project so far. He then went on to discuss bench mark studies of pipeline design.

To conclude the day, Dr George Romanos gave his second presentation, on behalf of Dimitrios Tsangaris, who is involved in the CO2QUEST project. The presentation, entitled “Fluid Properties and Phase Behaviour of CO2 with Impurities” centred on the development of advanced equations of state for the prediction of thermo-physical properties of CO2 and the effects of impurities. In addition to cubic equations of state, advanced molecular models are used to model phase equilibria and derivative thermodynamic properties of CO2 mixtures for application in transport and release modelling. Overall, the EoS models were demonstrated to be reliable for usage in process design and simulation.

The first day closed with a networking meal and drinks, generously provided by the UKCCSRC. Naturally, many carried on the animated discussions from throughout the day…at the local pubs.

DAY 2

The second day began with me being introduced to Jeremy Bentham. For those of you who do not know Jeremy, he is considered one of the founders of UCL, and his skeleton can be found preserved in a cabinet at the university. There are many rumours about Jeremy, but I will let you investigate this yourself.

Presentations commenced with Charles Eickhoff, a Project Director at Progressive Energy, talking us through the techno-economic assessment of CCS. Progressive Energy is involved with the IMPACTS project, and a techno-economic model is being developed to determine where the balance of economics lies for the specifications of a CCS chain, in relation to impurities in the CO2 stream. The balance refers to cleaning up the CO2 stream versus accepting impurities downstream, and what the limitations are. The model will be developed for a number of benchmark chains. He stated that one of the major obstacles to commercial CCS in the EU is the possible financial implication.

Following was Dr Niall Mac Dowell giving the first of his two presentations scheduled for the day. This was given on behalf of Dr. Regis Farret from INERIS. The presentation was concerned with the risk assessment of the CCS chain and how it is to be applied within CO2QUEST. The fundamentals of risk assessments were described, as were the potential impacts that a CCS chain may have upon the surrounding environment. He then introduced the safety and impacts decision making process, which is based on scoring each component of an impact. Impacts are grouped into four categories; physical, chemical, toxic and impacts on environment.

The final session before the morning break was given by Dr Solomon Brown from UCL. With the use of animations, Dr Brown discussed the process of material selection for pipelines carrying CO2 with impurities. Dr Brown introduced us to different methods of modelling pipeline fractures and propagation (for both brittle and ductile modes) taking into account fluid-structure interactions. Using case studies, he demonstrated the effects of a number of parameters on fractures, including temperature and CO2 stream composition. Again, Dr Brown reiterated the importance of recognising CO2 as widely different in properties to natural gas, and hence the possible impact upon accident scenarios.

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in Germany have been busy. Dr Dorothee Rebscher, a Senior Scientist, presented BGRs CCS project portfolio, which include COORAL, CLUSTER, MONACO, ULTimate, CO2BRIM, RISCS and CO2QUEST. The projects span the entire CCS chain, and involve a wide-reaching collection of global partners. Prof Mahgerefteh highlighted a very important issue, which should be applied to the entire CCS community, in that collaboration should be promoted at all times. Then, on behalf of Prof Niemi, Dr Rebscher discussed the CO2QUEST project in further detail, in particular, WP3 – CO2 Storage Reservoir Performance, and the experimental and modelling work that has been performed in this area.

Next, was Laurence Robinson from E.ON, who introduced us to another FP7 project, OCTAVIUS. E.ON sits on the Executive Board of this project, which is concerned with the ‘Optimisation of CO2 Capture Technology Allowing Verification and Implementation at Utility Scale’. After explaining the structure of the programme, Mr.Robinson focused on WP3 – the demonstration of the DMX process, which is a novel approach to the capture of CO2 from exhaust streams. Phase 1 of this project has been completed, and the potential of the DMX process has been confirmed to result in a lower energy penalty and CO2 avoided cost, when compared to standard MEA processes. However, the step to take this from a mini-pilot, to a scaled project has been put on hold due to financial limitations.

After a very sunny lunch time in the grounds of the Cruciform, it was time for Dr Mac Dowell’s second presentation on CO2QUEST, addressing the techno-economic assessment of the CCS chain. He explained that as part of WP4, the final objective is to deliver a multi-scale whole-systems approach that underpins the overall assessment of CCS by integrating component models. He then moved on to exploring different load-factors exhibited by different power plants, and discussed how this relates to electricity price variation. He concluded the presentation by discussing operation modes for power-capture plants which can financially exploit this behavior and how this can be modelled.

The penultimate presentation was given by one of the UKCCSRC’s own Dr Hannah Chalmers, who is Network Director for the Centre, and a lecturer. She explained what the centre is, and how it works, and provided a detailed overview of the funding that was received, and how it is distributed amongst the CCS community in relation to the strategic priorities of the centre. The centre provides a global focal point for CCS research and development. Dr Chalmers also shared details on the flexible funding provided by the centre to projects. The applications for the second call for projects closed in March 2014.

Dr Sergey Martynov then brought the workshop to an end, by giving the final presentation “Instrumentation and Measurement of Large-Scale Releases of Impure CO2, on behalf of Prof Yongchun Zhang from DUT, China. He explained the hazards that can occur due to the release of CO2 during transport; including solid formation, pipeline ductile fracture, and pipeline brittle fracture. Models are being developed to predict the risks associated with these phenomena as part of CO2QUEST, and these are to be tested against measurements obtained from full-scale CO2 release experiments, such as those being undertaken in China.

The workshop closed with a very encouraging atmosphere. It was concluded that, due to the success of this event in providing dissemination of CCS research, and the development of collaboration, the CO2QUEST management team will organise a similar event in Spring 2015. Information regarding this event will be posted on the CO2QUEST website when details have been finalised. If you are interested in becoming involved in this out-reach activity, please do not hesitate to contact me by email