London Biannual: Imperial College London Facilities Tour

My name is Adeola Awoyomi and I am in the earliest stage of my PhD research, in the Department of Power Engineering at Cranfield University. My research is focused on the capture of CO2 and SO2 gases co-currently from the flue gases and reduce the losses due to boil-off gas(BOG) on a CO2 shipping infrastructure. It was a privilege to be a part of this event, as this gave me the necessary exposure to meet other early career researchers and those that are experienced in my field.

On Tuesday, April 11, I arrived at the Imperial College London (South Kensington Campus), Sir Alexander Fleming Building for the UKCCSRC Spring Biannual Meeting (2017). My field visit to the Imperial College London CCS Facilities was a very interesting one; we were split into groups to enable better interaction and learning.

The first plant visited was the ABB Pilot Plant Control Room, which is commonly referred to as the nerve center of the Carbon Capture Pilot Plant. This state-of-the-art facility provides the necessary control signals to the plant and learning key skills on starting up, shutting down as well as operating the plant safely and efficiently. The four-storey high Carbon Capture Pilot Plant was the second place visited; it consists of two columns with a height of 12 m each. The absorber column operates at a temperature of 40 °C while the stripper column operates at 110 °C. The packing for each of the column defers, the absorber column is packed in a structured manner while the stripper column is randomly packed.

Sorbent Enhanced Reforming (SER) experiments were performed in one of the laboratories visited. This also consists of columns, but in reduced heights compared to the ones in the Carbon Capture Pilot Plant. During SER processes, pure hydrogen gas is produced after the removal CO2 in the sorbent regeneration stage. CO2 sorbent used in these experiments are mostly in solid forms for example, limestone.

The last laboratory visited at the end of our field trip was the Qatar CCS Multi Scale Imaging Laboratory where the flow experiments of CO2 are carried out on rock materials. The rock material sample are usually got from sites (large rocks) where possible injection of CO2 might occur or has occurred. This experiment gives an understanding of how fluids flow in the pores of rock structures. The process facility visited increased my curiosity and interest especially the ABB Control room, in knowing more about process automation.

A. Awoyomi