The TRANSPACC project seeks to move beyond current concepts for designing CO2 absorption columns for base-load operation, and move towards new column designs capable of meeting the requirements for fast, flexible and highly dynamic operation of fossil plants fitted with CO2 capture. CCS power plants will typically expected to follow dynamic operating patterns and operate for extended periods of time at part-load with a requirement for fast ramp-rate, quick start-up and shut-down and also possible boost conditions where additional power is produced for limited periods. Anecdotal evidence suggests, however, that current designs and operating practices for post-combustion capture systems give significantly slower start-up and load changing times than power plants.
TRANSPACC examines operating strategies and design options for packed columns for CO2 absorption/desorption in the context of low-carbon electricity generation achieved with a mix that could include base-load nuclear, intermittent wind power generation and fossil power plants with CCS operated flexibly to fill in the gas between electricity demand and supply, and also to back-up wind power. It investigates new design and operating strategies to improve transient operation of packed columns, and to cope with extended periods of part-load operation with low gas flow rate and low CO2 concentrations. Experimental work on packed columns is combined with Computational Fluid Dynamic modelling to form a joint project with two ETP studentships.