Heidelberg & Alstom to study CO2 capture technologies, Norway

Heidelberg & Alstom to study CO2 capture technologies, Norway
Published: 27 June 2011

As part of their strategy on climate protection, Norcem and its parent company HeidelbergCement Group, in cooperation with the European Cement Research Academy (ECRA) have decided to enter into a process aimed at establishing a decision basis regarding choice of technology for future CO2 capture for the European cement industry, Norcem.

Norcem plan to install a test facility for post-combustion CO2 capture technologies at Norcem’s cement plant in Brevik, Norway. Accordingly, Norcem has signed an agreement with Alstom to study application of two key CO2 capture technologies, namely the Chilled Ammonia Process and the Carbonate Looping Process at this test facility.

Based on successful pilot (5MW) and demonstration plant (54MW) operation, the Chilled Ammonia Process (CAP) has been fully validated and has confirmed its potential to be one of the best-in-class technologies. The Alstom validation program has confirmed that the Chilled Ammonia Process is not only as efficient as expected, but also offers by-products that may be used as a fertilizer, while having atmospheric emissions to air that are well below acceptable limits. Alstom currently is committed to 15 active Carbone Capture and Storage (CCS) projects with the global energy sector’s biggest utilities and companies around the world.

The Carbonate Looping Process is of specific interest to the cement industry as it uses raw material for the cement process to capture CO2. In addition to that, the patented Carbonate Looping Process produces valuable material that can be directly implemented into the cement production. Alstom already operates a pilot using a chemical looping technology at a scale of 1MW at the University of Darmstadt, Germany. In addition, Alstom is operating another limestone cycle process of 3MW in Windsor, CT, USA. The experience gained by having designed and operated those two facilities will directly support the successful application of Carbonate Looping for the cement industry.

“We have already reduced our CO2 emissions per produced ton significantly through plant optimization and by using renewable fuels. To reduce emissions even further, we need to enter into CO2 capture. We appreciate that funding support for the studies has been granted to Norcem by Gassnova SF through the CLIMIT program" says Gunnar Syvertsen, General Manager of HeidelbergCement Northern Europe
The work has started at the beginning of June and will be completed by end October 2011. Based on the conclusions from the work, Norcem will make a decision whether they will move on to build the test facility.

"Alstom believes that stabilising CO2 emissions is possible, but that a portfolio of technologies will be needed to get there. The company’s commitment to provide a range of integrated solutions to address the climate change challenge is a long-standing one. In order to reduce the CO2 emissions to an acceptable level, emissions from industries like cement, iron & steel and aluminum must be addressed in addition to the well-established CO2 capture effort on power plants”, says Philippe Joubert, Alstom Power President.

“Reducing energy consumption through optimized heat integration between the cement plant and the capture plant is key, and we are convinced that our competence from integration in the power industry will be very valuable in this respect”.