Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Transportation (COOLTRANS)

National Grid is progressing the £8-million COOLTRANS (CO2Liquid pipeline TRANSportation) research programme to address and resolve the key issues relating to the safe routeing, design and construction of onshore pipelines for the transportation of anthropogenic, high- pressure, dense-phase, carbon dioxide (CO2) from power stations and other industrial emitters to offshore locations for underground storage.
In constructing the COOLTRANS research programme, National Grid has brought together major technical capability in UK academic and industry organizations, and is co-ordinating research studies carried out by these organizations in order to provide a fast track for the identification and application of key learning to pipeline projects. An overview of the COOLTRANS research programme was given at the 2011 CO2 Transportation Forum [1], which explained the integrated analysis strategy combining state-of-the art numerical modelling of pipeline decompression, near- and far-field-dispersion studies being conducted by three university groups, and the use of full-scale experimental tests carried out at GL Noble Denton’s Spadeadam test site.

The COOLTRANS programme is over 50% complete, and has generated significant knowledge from the results of the advanced analyses and the large-scale experiments.

This paper provides a detailed description of the research programme, the strategy, organization, programme, and progress. The extensive experimental programme is detailed. The programme of case studies, which is designed to confirm that the independently conducted theoretical studies can be efficiently integrated to allow validation by experimental data, is described. The key learning obtained to date from the research programme and the application of this to pipeline project studies is described. The key differences between transporting dense-phase CO2 and other products are highlighted. The challenges posed by the transport of dense- phase CO2 by pipeline compared with the conventional design of natural and rich gas, and liquid, pipelines are detailed.