Siemens reports carbon reduction breakthrough

Siemens Energy has announced the successful completion of the first test phase of its carbon dioxide capture process in a pilot facility at the Staudinger power plant, owned and operated by E.ON.
In the first test phase, process efficiency, long-term chemical stability of the scrubbing agent and emissions were investigated in the pilot facility under real power plant conditions.
After more than 3000 operating hours, the facility was commissioned in September 2009, Siemens demonstrated that the post-combustion capture process achieves a carbon dioxide capture efficiency of over 90 per cent, with practically zero solvent emissions.
It was also demonstrated that the energy consumption of the PostCap process was significantly lower than comparable conventional processes.
The latter finding is a significant one because one of the main criticisms leveled at carbon capture processes is their significant impact on plant efficiency.
The test results confirmed Siemens expectations.
According to the company, the high level of stability of the solvent and the extremely low losses will have a positive impact on the operating costs of carbon capture facilities. Since the scrubbing agent, an aqueous amino acid salt solution, is non-volatile, there are practically no solvent emissions at the outlet of the capture facility.
In contrast to conventional carbon capture processes, such as those using amines, the Siemens PostCap process does not require any complex downstream scrubbing of the flue gas after the capture of the carbon dioxide.
Commenting on the announcement Nicolas Vortmeyer, CEO for New Technologies Fossil Power Generation at Siemens Energy said: “We’ve confirmed with the first operating results at our pilot facility that our carbon dioxide capture process is not only highly efficient but also meets the most stringent requirements on environmental compatibility without additional downstream scrubbing.
“We will continue pilot plant operation in order to gain further expertise.”
The pilot project at Staudinger power plant is sponsored by E.ON and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology within the framework of the COORETEC Initiative.
This initiative is part of Germany's 5th Energy Research Programme entitled ‘Innovation and New Energy Technologies’ and promotes research into and the development of low-carbon power plant technologies.
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