UKCCSC News 22 September 2009

Hi Folks,

The new term (semester?) is with us so here are a few distractions.

[UK Government] “Carbon capture competition hots up as Shell reveals it is joining ScottishPower’s bid” Scotsman (13 Aug)

“Shell’s experience of working offshore in the North Sea is clearly critical – not only in terms of the potential for storage in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, but because transport and storage of will demand many of the same engineering and subsurface skills on which the oil and gas industry has depended for many decades.”

National Grid also joined the ScottishPower consortium according to the FT (17 Aug)

2) The CO2 Capture Project, a consortium of large energy companies and government organisations, has released a report on CCS. This is possibly putting it a bit strongly:

“Definitive report published to address safe subsurface storage of CO2” Your Industry News (25 Aug)

“Entitled “A Technical Basis for Carbon Dioxide Storage”, the 86-page report, edited by Cal Cooper (formerly of ConocoPhillips), provides guidance on how to assess and manage industrial-scale CO2 Geological Storage (CGS) projects through appropriate site assessment, operational parameters and monitoring. “

The report is at (registration required):

3) More public perception problems, this time in Denmark:

“Vattenfall’s CCS project in Jutland comes to a halt” (6 Aug)

“The energy company had originally planned to carry out seismic investigations north west of the local city of Aalborg during this summer, but local estate owners have denied Vattenfall access to their land…”

I’m not sure if this is the solution:

“…Vattenfall has said that it might use the law to ensure access to the land that the landowners will not voluntarily give access to…”

4) And more, they are falling thick and fast…

“A partner in a $92.8 million proposal to inject carbon dioxide underground in western Ohio said the project has been abandoned.” Newark Advocate (Aug 23)

“The project had drawn growing opposition from local officials and state representatives. Opponents said they feared an impact on property values and potential seismic activity.”

5) I was initially puzzled by this story, as Schwarze Pumpe power station is in Germany. However, Schwarze Pumpe is an oxyfuel facility so the story is accurate:

“Germany’s first carbon capture plant opened – €9m pilot project first step in 81m t CO2 reduction” The Chemical Engineer (20 Aug)

“Germany’s first CO2 scrubbing plant at RWE’s Coal Innovation Centre in Niederaussem”

6) We don’t hear much about monitoring:

“[USA] DOE Announces Nearly $30M for Monitoring, Evaluating CO2 Storage” New York Times (24 Aug)

“The 19 projects, largely conducted by universities, will focus on monitoring the movement of CO2 through geologic storage sites, verifying its placement and accounting for the amount sequestered.”

Several newspapers have linked the announcement to the approval, a few days previously, of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada’s tar sands to the USA.

7) “Company Taps Jet-Engine Technology in Bid to Cut Carbon-Capture Costs”

“An Energy Department-backed project is using supersonic shock-wave technology used in jet engines to compress carbon dioxide for storage at coal-fired power plants and other industrial sites.”

The aim is to reduce compression costs.

8) The new head of the UK Sustainable Development commission, Will Day, doesn’t believe in ‘clean coal’ apparently:

“Coal stations will be ‘lightning rod’ for global dissent, warns watchdog’s head” Guardian (13 Aug)

“He dismissed industry and ministerial claims that new power stations such as Kingsnorth could be operated with limited impact on the environment by trapping and storing the carbon emissions underground.”

9) The problem with technological breakthroughs is that there are so many false claims that it’s tricky to spot the real ones:

“New Carbon Capture Breakthrough Significantly Cheaper Than Alternatives” eMediaWire (Aug 31)

“Cryogenic Carbon Capture (CCC), offers a more practical and cost effective solution to carbon capture than any existing technology”

10) “Refitted to Bury Emissions, Plant Draws Attention” New York Times (21 Sept)

“A behemoth built in 1980, long before global warming stirred broad concern, Mountaineer is poised to become the world’s first coal-fired power plant to capture and bury some of the carbon dioxide it churns out.”

11) “E.ON and Siemens launch carbon capture pilot project in Germany” Energy Efficiency News (21 Sept)

A post-combustion capture project running until the end of 2010.

12) “ConocoPhilips and U.K. coal producer Powerfuel plc reached a carbon capture and storage (CCS) deal for the depleted Viking gas field off the east coast of England.” InTech (16 Sept)

“…Powerfuel’s proposed 900-megawatt (MW) coal-fired integrated gas combined cycle plant in Hatfield, South Yorkshire…”

Consortium and Network