Gothenburg – A two-day meeting between the representatives of the Nordic Energy Research (NER) “Negative CO2” flagship project was held at Chalmers University on the 27th and 28th of April 2017.

Representatives of the working packages of the NER Negative CO2 project, who in turn represent various institutions from several Nordic countries, had the opportunity to present the results made within the working packages so far. Each of the partners from the eight working groups discussed the progress and findings of the project.

– The meeting was excellent, and gave us several interesting updates on a range of issues connected to, among others, oxygen carrier materials and flue gas treatment, according to Magnus Rydén of Chalmers University

Chemical Looping Combustion

The goal of the project is establish a full scale biomass power plant that employs the carbon capture technology Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC). This method allows for the capture of carbon dioxide using a much lower amount of energy compared to more conventional capture technologies. The combination of CLC with the usage of biomass (Bio-CLC) would allow for the storage of CO2 released when the biomass burnt (biogenic CO2). Thereby, the CO2 is actually removed from the atmosphere. Bio-CLC is therefore a carbon negative technology.

Significant progress has been made both with regards to technical findings and outreach in the timespan covering part of 2015 and all of 2016.

– The project is proceeding well and more or less according to the plans. Up to this point, the most interesting findings include the practical demonstration of chemical-looping combustion of biomass on different scales. This clearly verifies the feasibility of the concept, Rydén explained.

The project consists of the following eight work packages (WPs):

  • WP1 – Management and coordination (Chalmers)
  • WP2 – Pilot Plant Operation (SINTEF ER)
  • WP3 – Oxygen Carrier Materials (SINTEF MC)
  • WP4 – Flue Gas Treatment (Chalmers)
  • WP5 – Ash and corrosion issues (Åbo Akademi)
  • WP6 – Upscaling and implementation (VTT)
  • WP7 –Bio-CLC in a low-carbon Nordic energy system (VTT)
  • WP8 – Dissemination (Bellona)

Technical and cost estimation challenges

Aside from presenting all the progress that was made in the project so far, some challenges were also presented.

– Technical challenges with the project include the use of highly volatile fuel in fluidized bed reactors and determining what the effects of biomass ash are on the oxygen carrier particles. It is also a challenge to do a reliable cost estimation that would ensure determining what kind of political and economic incentives would be needed to allow for large-scale implementation in the Nordic countries, Rydén said.