BCIA funds CO2 capture facility

Tuesday, 19 August, 2014

Non-for-profit company Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) has announced $650,000 in funding for a research and development project which will target significantly reduced carbon emissions from brown coal power generation. The project, selected in BCIA’s 2013-14 competitive R&D funding round, will combine CSIRO CO2 capture innovation with that of Japanese technology vendor IHI Corporation.

“This research project is targeting a 40% reduction in energy use of current post-combustion capture (PCC) processes and will see the installation of a $1 million Japanese-built PCC pilot plant at AGL Loy Yang Power station - the first in Victoria to operate around the clock,” said BCIA Chief Executive Dr Phil Gurney. “The expected reduction in energy usage - as targeted by this project - would lead to significant savings in the cost of energy supplied to the consumer compared to implementing carbon capture using first-generation PCC plant.

“This project entails a two-year evaluation of two advanced liquid absorbents, two advanced process designs and an advanced gas/liquid contactor. The combination of these three aspects represents a significant step forward in PCC technology application for Victorian brown coal-fired power stations.”

In the first year of the research program, a 0.5 tpd CO2 capture pilot plant - incorporating an advanced, low-pressure packing material - will be designed and manufactured by IHI in Japan. The plant will then be transported to Australia and recommissioned at AGL Loy Yang Power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The combination of simultaneous improvements in capture agents, equipment and process design is expected to deliver almost a 40% reduction in the absorbent energy requirement of the pilot plant compared to a standard amine process.

Monash University PhD student Mai Bui records data from CSIRO’s existing post-combustion carbon capture pilot plant, located at the AGL Loy Yang brown coal power station.

“The collaboration is a world-first evaluation of a technology provider-developed PCC process in flue gases from Victorian lignite-fired power,” Dr Gurney said.

“The participation of significant international and local industry players in our research program recognises the significant contributions to advancing CCS being made in Australia and will also enable the innovative technologies developed here to be commercially adopted as quickly as possible. The commercial success of such technologies would secure Victoria’s - and indeed Australia’s - future economic prosperity by enabling the continuation of low-cost power generation while also creating valuable new industries and employment opportunities in the state’s Latrobe Valley.”

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