NER Negative CO2 Newsletter October 2017
This is the third edition of the newsletter of The Nordic Energy Research Flagship Project “Negative CO2 Emissions with Chemical Looping Combustion of Biomass”
This edition covers the results and progress of the project in the period from September 2016 to September 2017.
Haven’t heard about CO2 capture and storage before? Click here for an introduction.
NER Negative CO2
The NER Negative CO2 project combines technologies and research that will be help us reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere effectively and at a low cost. To achieve the climate goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, we need to effectively stop any and all emissions of CO2 where possible, and compensate for emissions we cannot avoid (for instance from agriculture).
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the necessary measures include: the uptake of renewable energy, electrification, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). These solutions alone will, however, not be enough. We need to decrease the amount of CO2 that is already present in the atmosphere. We need large-scale negative emissions.
In the Nordic countries, there is a large potential for the capture and permanent geological storage of CO2 from biomass. Norway has 20 years of experience in full-scale CO2 storage, and is planning for a large-scale CO2 transport and storage infrastructure ready by 2022 that could receive CO2 northern and Western Europe. Sweden and Finland have large point source emissions of CO2 from biomass.
Chemical Looping Combustion
Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) is a technology able to capture CO2 from energy production at relatively low cost and with a large efficiency. While conventional combustors burn fuel with ambient air, containing the needed oxygen as well as a lot of nitrogen, CLC installations burn fuel with solid metal oxide particles.
When the fuel reacts with these particles, which are called the oxygen carriers, the oxygen is transferred to the fuel giving the same combustion products as normal combustion. These are CO2 and water vapor. The important difference is that the combustion products leave the so-called fuel reactor without any of the nitrogen in the air, and when the gas is cooled, the water vapor condenses resulting in an essentially pure CO2 stream. At this is the important point, this can be done without any costly and energy demanding gas separation. Because the costly gas separation can be avoided, CLC is expected to reduce the cost of CO2 capture dramatically.
The aim of the project is to take the technology to the next level in its development by upscaling it to a semi-commercial scale.