SINTEF’s Tiller CO2 Capture Pilot Plant


By Keith Burnard

27 June 2023

During the afternoon of Thursday, 22 June, an event was held at the Tiller test facility to celebrate reaching 100,000 hours of testing capture media. Located just 18 km from downtown Trondheim, the Tiller facility is one of the world’s leading test centres. As part of the International Test Centre Network, Tiller serves to reduce the technical, environmental and financial risks associated with developing a CO2 capture technology – providing an essential service for vendors seeking to enter and compete in this relatively new but critical technology area.

The pilot plant, with its 30 m high CO2 absorber/desorber, was commissioned in 2010. It has a CO2 throughput capacity of 50 kg/h and is fully automated with more than 1,000 instrumentation points. It is constructed for accurate measurements of key process variables including, among others:

  • Energy requirements
  • CO2 absorption capacity
  • Emissions to air
  • Degradation of solvents.

Combined with analyses of gas and liquid samples, results from these measurements are important input parameters for SINTEF to validate its plant simulation model. Understanding the mechanisms associated with CO2 removal technology leads to accurate plant design and, importantly, process improvement.

As well as burning gas, the facility is equipped with a coal and bio-burner, and has a range of flue gas pre-treatment equipment. This provides the pilot plant with the flexibility to mimic the flue gases from a range of power and industrial sources.

Capture technologies, whether they be based on solvent absorption, membranes or solids adsorption can all be tested at the Tiller facility. Following conception of a technology and successful testing at the laboratory scale, pilot-scale testing is essential for a technology to move up the TRL scale.

With countless test campaigns under its belt, Tiller has already secured its place in the history books. It has, for example, proved a vital step in the development of the Aker Carbon Capture technology to be used at Heidelberg Norcem’s cement plant at Brevik. CO2 from the cement plant will provide some 400,000 t/a to Northern Lights as part of Norway’s Longship project.

With seven papers from SINTEF accepted for presentation at IEAGHG’s PCCC-7 conference, being held in Pittsburgh in September, more results from the Tiller CO2 Capture Pilot Plant are sure to be shared with the CCS community. 

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