Home Energy VIDEOS: Energy company Total developing 'new way to generate electricity without emitting CO2'

French multinational oil and gas company Total is partnering with several Chinese companies and universities to build "an innovative plant that will produce electricity and steam without releasing CO2 into the atmosphere".

The demonstration plant has a "3MW energy production capacity" and is "located in Sichuan province in China".

Two videos, linked below, give further detail on how the technology works.

Total says it "will be the largest in the world (production of 3MWth vs. 2MWth for the existing facilities)", and that "this is one of the most promising heat and power production technologies as it is less energy intensive than existing methods".

"The project will, within five years, look to develop, upscale and test a 2nd generation chemical-looping technology at a scale of 3MW to produce energy and steam with Captured CO2. The aim will be to drastically reduce the efficiency drop of the CO2 capture chain."

"The innovative concept is deemed capable of removing 96% of combustion-related CO2 while eliminating capture losses to less than 4%, except for the CO2 compression work. Thereby, the project seeks to make a major step towards large-scale carbon footprint reduction of power/steam generation system using heavy feed namely petcoke."

So, what is the technology in the project being used to avoid CO2 emissions?

It is called "chemical looping combustion, or CLC."

We're told that with chemical looping, "heat is generated through a hydrocarbon combustion process that uses only oxygen, without any of the nitrogen in the air — this is called oxy-fuel combustion.

"This directly produces concentrated CO2 that is ready for geological storage or re-use. The efficiency of oxy-combustion is the key issue: pure oxygen is brought into the combustion area in the form of a metal oxide-based solid.

"The heat generated by the oxy-combustion process is then used to produce steam. This steam can either be used as heat for industry, or for generating electricity".

As Total's media release reminds us, "electricity generation typically causes CO2 to be released".

"In this process, the CO2 is highly concentrated and immediately captured without being released into the atmosphere. It is then stored or reused. The electricity and steam produced from hydrocarbons will be used by energy retailers in their industrial sites."

We're told that "this is the first time that European and Chinese researchers are working together on this carbon capture technology. It is also the first consortium to bring together so many international experts in this field".

"Eight partners have signed onto the four-year Chinese-European Emission-Reducing Solutions project, budgeted at nearly €20 million. The project is financed by the European Commission and China's Ministry of Science and Technology."

Total says it is "working with a number of partners within the CHEERS consortium, including SINTEF, IFP Energies Nouvelles, Tsinghua University, Dongfang Boiler Group, Zhejiang University, Silesean University of Technology and non-profit Bellona".

Here's a link to the first video explaining the technology, whose settings stop it from being embedded into articles.

Here's a link to the second video, which again cannot be embedded. 

Article continues below image: 

The media release claims that "CHEERS fits in perfectly with the ambition of Total which intends to be a leader in carbon capture, utilisation and storage by 2035".

"Since 2006, Total has gained extensive expertise in the development of oxy-combustion technologies. The maturity of projects such as CHEERS will help reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the CO2 emissions from power and heat generation, thanks to carbon storage.

"Construction of the demonstration unit will begin in the second half of 2018. The objective for 2025 is to build a facility of industrial size on the same model.

"With a budget of €16.8 million, the project is partially financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 764697 together with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Chinese industry. The system prototype demonstration, which is based on a fundamentally new fuel-conversion process, will be carried out at the Key Laboratory for Clean Combustion and Flue Gas Purification of the Sichuan Province, in Deyang, P.R. China.

"The responsibility of the action lies with the CHEERS consortium, which comprises nine parties: SINTEF Energi (co-ordinator, Trondheim, Norway), IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) (Lyon, France), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), SINTEF Industry (Oslo, Norway), Total (France), Dongfang Boiler Group (Zigong, China), Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China), Politeknika Slaska (SILESIAN) (Gliwice, Poland), and Bellona (Brussels, Belgium)."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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