Post-combustion capture: the demixing solvent
The DMX™ process developed by IFPEN is a second-generation process making it possible to reduce the energy consumption associated with post-combustion capture. The demonstration project on an industrial pilot unit in Dunkirk was launched in May 2019.
«The DMX™ process is dedicated to capturing the CO2 in the emissions of industrial facilities: coal-fired power plants, cement plants, steel works, etc. The idea is to improve the performance of traditional amine-based processes, which consume a significant amount of energy for solvent regeneration. We are targeting energy savings of between 30 and 40%. Our solution is based on a high cyclic capacity solvent that decants in two phases, with only the CO2 rich phase sent to regeneration. The chemical stability of the DMX™ solvent also makes it possible to operate this regeneration at a modified temperature and thus produce CO2 at a pressure (up to 6 eff.bar.). Consequently, is it is possible to save two compression stages compared to traditional processes. The tests conducted on a mini-pilot facility at our Solaize site demonstrated the efficiency of the DMX™ process on a small scale and on synthetic gas. We have now launched an industrial-scale demonstration on steel industry exhaust gas, in partnership with ArcelorMittal, Total and Axens.”
Paul Broutin, Project manager, IFPEN
The demonstration of the DMX™ process on an industrial pilot unit will be conducted within the framework of the European “3D” (DMX™ Demonstration at Dunkirk) project, coordinated by IFPEN and bringing together a further 10 partners from the worlds of research and industry from 6 European countries. “3D” is a component of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and forms part of a wider study dedicated to the development of the future European Dunkirk North Sea CO2 capture and storage cluster.
In this field, IFPEN is contributing to another Horizon 2020 program: the Strategy CCUS (Carbon Capture Usage and Storage) project, launched for a period of 3 years on 13 May 2019, is aimed at drawing up strategic plans for the development of CCUS in Southern and Eastern Europe and considering approaches for the construction of a CCUS infrastructure on a European scale. IFPEN’s teams are contributing their expertise in the technical and economic evaluation of the various development scenarios concerning this project, including the evaluation of environmental externalities.
Oxycombustion capture: chemical looping combustion
IFPEN is also developing an innovative CO2 capture process using Chemical Looping Combustion, or CLC. The research has been conducted in partnership with Total since 2008. The aim is to scale-up the process with the Chinese-European H2020 CHEERS project.
«Chemical looping combustion consists in concentrating the CO2 directly in combustion flue gases (concentration above 90%) to make it easier to separate from other components. To do this, a metal oxide is used that, on contact with the feed (natural gas, coal, petcoke, biomass, etc.), releases the oxygen required for combustion, producing effluents made up of steam and CO2 alone: it is then easy to isolate the CO2 simply by condensing the steam. The great advantage of the process is being able to achieve this separation without the need for an additional step. As such, its energy footprint is superior to that of its competitors. Our research, conducted in partnership with Total since 2008, has been the subject of numerous patents and been validated using several cold models and on a 10kW pilot unit, at our Lyon site.The task now is to demonstrate its performance on a large scale: Such is the aim of the CHEERS project.
In parallel, we are pursuing research on the metal oxide used in the process: we recently acquired a large-scale atomizer making it possible to produce optimized particles for the technology. The first batches produced at the end of 2018 already augur well for the future of the next stage of the project.»
Stéphane Bertholin, CLC project manager, IFPEN
What is CLC?
David Nevicato, CCUS Research Program Manager CO2/CCS, Strategy Innovation Department, Total
What is Total’s contribution to CCUS?
Total has long since been involved in the development of CCUS technology with a view to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. We have acquired industrial expertise in the field through a number of projects:
- on the Snøhvit and Sleipner oil fields (North Sea) oil fields, where CO2 was captured during gas treatment and reinjected into a deep saline aquifer,
- on the Lacq pilot unit between 2010 and 2016, enabling the injection of 51,000 tonnes of CO2. This integrated CCS demonstration project included:
- a capture step using a 30MW gas oxycombustion furnace, also on the Lacq site,
- the storage of CO2 captured in a former gas field south of Pau,
- a period of monitoring the reservoir and its environment until 2017,
- the inclusion of populations concerned by the proximity of the CO2 storage site, which enabled the project to be conducted successfully.
What are the objectives of CLC technology as far as Total is concerned?
Using low-cost feeds to produce steam or electricity for our industrial sites while at the same time reducing the impact on the environment are clearly major factors when it comes to deciding to invest in the construction of a CLC unit.
Further developments are yet to come and we must continue to demonstrate its performance and reliability: CLC technology remains complex even if it is similar to more mature technologies such as FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracking) and FBB (Fluidized Bed Boilers).
What are the benefits of the Total/IFPEN partnership?
Total has been working on CLC since 2005 and the partnership with IFPEN started in 2008. We are working together to develop the entire technology chain:
- from the initial research phase (TRL<2),
- through to the demonstration phase (TRL 7 at the end of the CHEERS project),
- thereafter, it will probably be necessary to consider a phase with a pre-commercial sized unit of a power in excess of 100 MW (TRL 9).
The IFPEN teams working with us bring with them a number of benefits:
- its engineers have the skills and expertise required to develop the technology in its entirety: knowledge of the materials, such as the oxygen carrier for CLC, and complex processes such as fluidized beds. For the past 10 years now, IFPEN has maintained its research effort, supported by a high level of scientific know-how,
- its capacity to take a development from the laboratory through to the pre-industrial stage: very few research centers have this wealth of expertise!
The added advantage with the partnership between IFPEN and Total on this project is the fact that it is both technological and human in nature: Total’s CLC project manager did his PhD research in IFPEN’s laboratories, a key factor in the success of our collaboration. The second key factor lies in the fact that IFPEN and Total form a team with a shared strategy. We speak as one when we join forces with other partners, as is currently the case with the CHEERS project.»
Stemming from IFPEN's research on CO2 storage, CooresFlow software is currently at the prototype stage. Developed to address industrial needs, in partnership with an oil company and a gas storage company on the basis of real scenarios, it is positioned as an integrated solution covering the entire life cycle of a storage facility.
«CooresFlow is used for the 3D simulation not only of fluid flows, but also the transport of chemical species via these fluids and the interactions between the rock and fluids. This makes it possible to predict:
- the evolution of fluid composition and the porous medium,
- its impact on flows.
Our software stands out on the market on several fronts:
- its integrated interface, making it possible to create a model, launch a simulation and visualize the results,
- as well as its flexibility,
- and its calculation performance: it supports complex meshing with potential refinement over time.
Its broad scope of application makes it suitable for use in the laboratory and out in the field; from well scale, through to site or even basin scale.
CooresFlow can be useful:
- in the storage site selection and design phases, in order to limit risks,
- in the surveillance phase during and after the injection phase, to:
- help position the monitoring tools,
- adapt the frequency of measurements,
- simulate the future of the CO2 stored by updating the reactive transport model from these measurements.»
Audrey Estublier, CO2 storage project manager, IFPEN
Monitoring CO2 storage: environmental monitoring tools
Consult our solutions on "Environmental monitoring"