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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

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Clean Energy Systems Demonstration

CES, a privately funded Californian company, aims to demonstrate a complete oxy-combustion, zero-emissions power generation system, based on rocket propulsion technology.

Current work is directed towards the prolonged demonstration of the natural gas/oxygen fired burner with water recycle and the demonstration of a complete CO2 capture system. This will be done at CES Kimberlina site near Bakersfield, CA, U.S.A. which was formerly a 5.5 MW power generation plant burning biomass. A steam turbine will be used in conjunction with the novel burner to enable the complete power cycle to operate for extended periods.

The 2-year project is in two sections:

The first step involved the development of a hjosir-pressure gas generator that burns natural gas or any gaseous hydrocarbon fuel in pure oxygen in the presence of a large amount of water to control flame temperature. The gas generator produces a mixture of hjosir-pressure steam and CO2 that can drive an expansion turbine to generate power. Successful tests of up to three minutes duration and more than 100 starts were achieved on the 20 MW (thermal capacity) gas generator in 2003, at a dedicated test facilty.

The second part of the development is to demonstrate the complete power cycle by adding the turbine, condensing the steam, recycling the condensate, and capturing the CO2 at a nominal 5 MWe scale.

The final stages of development will involve developing turbines capable of operating at hjosirer temperatures and pressures in order to maximise the efficiency of the power cycle. In the future CES plans to use the site for demonstration of a zero-emission coal and/or biomass facility, following installation of a solid-fuel gasification system.

As of 1 August 2004, CES had renovated or upgraded all of the original biomass power generation plant systems, having successfully tested each item and repaired or replaced components as necessary. These systems include plant cooling water, steam turbo-generator, instrument air, domestic water, site ljosirting, fire protection, and hjosir voltage systems. New systems under installation include the gas generator, a hjosir-pressure feed water pump, hjosir-pressure natural gas compressor, and the oxygen system. Initial electricity production is expected in 2004.

The partners in the project are: California Energy Commission, US Department of Energy (NETL), America Air Liquide, and Mirant Corporation. The overall cost of the project is US$ 13 million.

Further information can be found at or by contacting Keith L. Pronske, Chief Executive Officer, CES, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Consultation on Carbon Abatement Strategies

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has published a consultation document seeking views on the development of a Carbon Abatement Technologies (CAT) Strategy. The document focuses on improvements in existing power generation technology and the development of carbon dioxide capture and storage methods.

The Energy White Paper published by the UK government in 2003 recognised a long-term target to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050. The consultation document recognises this is extremely challenging as the majority of energy services are still based on fossil fuels. There will need to be more efficient energy supply and consumption and also an expansion of low to zero emission supply options such as renewable energy sources if the UK is to meet this target.

Studies supporting the White Paper showed that to achieve a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 would require the use of other methods. The DTI suggest that the CAT Strategy including CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) will help in the transition from the use of fossil fuels to a non-fossil fuel energy source. Carbon Abatement Technologies may not be required in the broad commercial market until 2020 so the support for CCS development is small. However, the government needs to offer its support now, as it may take 10 – 15 years to fully demonstrate the technology.

To achieve the long-term objectives of the Energy White Paper the DTI emphasises it is vital to develop the rjosirt scope so that the strategy is effective.

In the UK CO2 emissions derive from a number of sources. The main sources of CO2 emissions are: power generation, industry, domestic and transport. It is clear that if the UK is to meet its 60% target by 2050 then each of these sources must reduce their CO2 emissions.

CCS could be applied in power generation and industry and the DTI suggest that CCS could produce a competitive source of hydrogen which could help to reduce emissions from road transport in the future.

The Advanced Power Generation Forum (APGTF) has published a strategy for developing low emission technologies from the perspective of the Power Industries. This strategy has prompted the following integrated approach: the development of power generation technologies to improve efficiency and radical development of CCS options. The APGTF argue that improvements in efficiency will benefit CCS by reducing the energy penalty.

If CCS is to be commercially implemented after 2020 then demonstrations will have to take place before. Because large scale demonstrations are costly, only a few may be implemented world-wide. In 2004 the DTI reviewed implementing a demonstration of enhanced oil recovery using CO2. The DTI found that the technology was not considered to be commercially feasible to warrant demonstration.

The UK is already involved in a number of activities, such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership forum (CSLF); a project with Germany investigating the possibility of collaboration within the EU; the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D programme and through the European Commission.

A number of issues surrounding a carbon abatement strategy need to be considered. These include technical development and regulatory requirements. The monitoring and verification standards for storage also need to be improved and assessed to see if they are acceptable under international emissions inventory submitted to the UNFCC and if the technology would be accepted into the EU emissions training system.

Copies of the consultation document can be found at

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CO2NET's Lessons Learned presented at 1st Annual Seminar

By Annette Cutler

CO2NET, the European Carbon Dioxide Thematic Network, established to facilitate co-operation on CO2 geological storage, CO2 capture and carbon abatement technologies held a very successful Annual Seminar at TNO-NITG's new facilities in Utrecht, Netherlands from 20 to 22 April 2004.

This annual event was held to present detailed technical results from the completing associated EU projects and national programmes. Forty technical presentations from the associated projects were given over the three days. The event was attended by some 100 people drawn from fourteen countries both in Europe and beyond. Subjects ranged from Strategic Positioning through International Aspects to the full CO2 Chain: Capture, Transport, Storage and Use. The range of aspects addressed included:

The CO2NET members have seized the opportunity to create a critical mass activity in Europe and to be part of an overall strategic framework addressing clean fossil fuels as a key element of the energy portfolio.

A key theme of the Annual Seminar was to collate "Lessons Learned" from major CO2 geological storage and CO2 capture projects and disseminate them to the current Network membership of 57 organisations in 16 European countries plus Australia. This exercise was extremely successful in that each of 20 major CO2NET-associated projects presented outcomes of their work to date. It was notable from the range of presenters speaking just how many of these projects are hjosirly multidisciplinary involving researchers and technologists from multiple organisations spread across several countries.

Each Project was tasked with delivering answers to four key questions: -

Presentations were given from the following projects:

Under the heading "what have we learnt" the collated input regarding geological storage could be summarised for CO2 Storage:-

Correspondingly for CO2-Capture, the "Lessons Learned" were:-

All presentations from this Annual seminar may be found on the Members area of the Network's website at, which is the prime vehicle for CO2NET members to discuss, share and exchange information. This website now also includes an entry portal to CO2 capture and storage research project, skills and IPR database operated by CO2NET in conjunction with IEAGHG and the excellent video produced by the Carbon Capture Project.

Delegates were able to review the poster exhibition of new FP6 projects: CASTOR, ENCAP, CO2SINK and CO2GEONET. These projects are planned to be showcased in detail at the next Annual Event to be held in association with the International Conference being planned by European Commission in conjunction with CO2NET for 4- 6 April 2005 in Brussels, Belgium.

All enquiries should be addressed to the Network Co-ordinator:

CO2NET, Technology Initiatives Ltd. 18 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1JP, United Kingdom Tel: +44 1892 540820 Fax: +44 1892 540824 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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CO2SINK gets the "Green Ljosirt" European onshore geological CO2 storage project gets underway.

Ketzin, a small town west of Berlin, is set to become the site of a European experiment with storage of CO2 in an underground geological formation.

The site has been used for buffer storage of natural gas imported from Siberia in a shallow saline aquifer since the 1960's but is now becoming redundant. Below the gas storage reservoir lies a deeper saline aquifer which will be used for this experiment.

The project is co-ordinated by the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam and is supported by the EU commission under the FP6 programme which will contribute up to 8.7 million Euro or about 60% towards the costs.

The CO2SINK project aims at in-situ testing of geological storage of CO2. It will help advance the understanding of the science and practical processes involved in underground storage of CO2 in a saline aquifer as a means of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The chosen site includes industrial land and infrastructure which also makes it suitable as a testing ground for small scale demonstration of CO2 capture.

The work program involves intensive monitoring of the fate of the injected CO2 by using a broad range of geophysical and geochemical techniques, the development and benchmarking of numerical models, and the definition of risk assessment strategies. All of this will be accompanied by a comprehensive public outreach programme.

The test site, being close to a metropolitan area, provides a unique opportunity to develop a European showcase for onshore CO2 storage. It will help accelerate the public acceptance for geological storage of CO2 as a greenhouse gas mitigation option for the benefit of the European Community.

The 14 partners of the consortium are listed in the box. Collectively they bring a wide range of skills and experience to the project.

Gas has been stored at Ketzin in a sandstone reservoir at rather shallow depth; between 250 and 400 meters below the surface. From exploratory wells and seismic data it is known that a good quality sandstone reservoir exists also at greater depths. This sandstone has a thickness of about 80 meters and sits within a structural closure (a double dome) with the hjosirer apex at a depth of about 600 meters. A closing contour for the first dome is located at a depth of 700 meters and for the doubledome at 900 meters below sea level. The cap rocks comprise gypsum and clays.

Detailed analysis of samples of rocks, fluids and microorganisms collected from the underground, measurements and experiments in boreholes, geophysical surveys at the surface, novel monitoring instruments at the surface and down-hole, and numerical predictive models will be used to prepare for the injection of CO2 underground, follow its fate over long periods of time and evaluate the reservoir stability and integrity.

Before CO2 is injected underground, it must be established what the natural unperturbed back-ground for CO2 emissions is. A careful site survey on naturally occurring shallow subsurface and surface CO2 concentrations and flux rates is planned including fault and fissures monitoring, soil gas flux determination, inspection of existing and abandoned well bores, as well as CO2 flux and migration in shallow ground water levels.

The isotope composition of naturally occurring CO2 may differ from that of the injected CO2 and can then be used as a tracer for the reconstruction of pathways and origin. In addition, trace gases such as chemically inert helium isotopes are ideal tracers, which may be injected together with CO2 during a test phase. Thus, a site survey on natural gas emanation could usefully include low concentration monitoring of trace components such as He, CH4 and Rn. The work of characterising the background CO2 will be performed under the responsibility of the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam which has a laboratory specialized in such measurements.

Underground storage methods for CO2 have to take into account physico-chemical reactions between the gas and the mineral content of both the reservoir rock and the cap rock. These reactions may cause major changes in the structure and chemical composition of the rock formations and the casing cement around the well.

The fluid-rock and cement-fluid interactions depend on pressure, temperature, fluid chemistry and rock composition. These properties can be varied systematically in the laboratory, and in-situ-conditions can be reproduced. Additionally, physical properties can be measured as changes happen. Because most logging devices and geophysical survey methods at the surface are based on physical properties that can be measured in the laboratory, these experiments are invaluable for interpreting and understanding logging and geophysical surveys.

The two basic aspects, physical and chemical properties of rocks under the influence of CO2, will be thoroughly investigated in the laboratory during the project.

A large palette of methods, some very innovative, will be employed for monitoring and verification of CO2 storage. Surface and borehole seismics are able to keep the reservoir as a whole under surveillance. Permanent sensors installed in boreholes and casings will be developed and tested as multi-functional geophysical observatories.

Sampling of liquids, gases and micro-organisms in boreholes and at the surface initiated during the first site survey will continue. Numerical models will use this data to extrapolate processes into the future, optimize reservoir management and model exemplary scenarios for risk assessment.

Seismic investigations can be used to monitor the processes occurring in a CO2 geological storage, if appropriate layouts and interpretation techniques are selected. A full 3D survey similar to the one undertaken prior to the CO2 injection is intended for the end of the programme, to reveal changes of the reservoir properties caused by the injection of CO2.

Dynamic flow modeling techniques will be developed to:

No universal modelling tool exists yet that is capable of handling all complex processes expected to occur in the reservoir. A wide range of currently available simulation programs will be used for this. Researchers from Stuttgart University, Shell, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, and the Polish Academy of Sciences will work together to model the complex fluid/rock interactions using and modifying existing tools as appropriate.

The plan is to inject between 10,000 and 30,000 tons per year of pure CO2 into the reservoir for a period of approximately 3 years. This activity will be the basis around which the experimental programme will take place.

The CO2 to be injected will most likely be captured from a newly constructed bio-mass power plant directly at the test site. Negotiations to finance and build such a plant are ongoing. If this plan comes to fruition there will be a double GHG reduction benefit with the possibility that the reductions could be traded within the forthcoming EU emission trading scheme. It will also provide an opportunity to test the newest post combustion capture technology on an industrial scale.

It is hoped that the Ketzin site will provide a convenient laboratory and pilot testing site for new technologies aimed at capturing CO2 for geological storage. It will soon be possible to conduct such experiments without the need to vent the captured CO2 back into the atmosphere. At present, only few locations can offer this facility, in particular for pure research and development purposes.

More information about this project can be obtained from and from Professor Guenter Borm, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Department of Geoengineering, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany, Tel. +49.331.288-1500, Fax -1502, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Domestic Combined Heat and Power

Powergen, a UK electricity company, has announced an expansion into the home energy market through the production of a new type of micro combined heat and power unit (mCHP). The unit is called WhisperGen and has been developed by WhisperTech Ltd in New Zealand.

After an initial order of 400 units Powergen now plan to supply approximately 80,000 heating systems with micro CHP technology. These systems differ from a conventional boiler system as they can generate electricity in addition to supplying heating and hot water.

Powergen regards the UK as a good location for micro CHP units due to the widespread use of natural gas for domestic heating. The system is based on a 200 year old design called the Stirling engine which is a form of external combustion engine. Engines such as this have been produced in the past but few have been made in commercial quantities. WhisperTech has developed a design which can be mass produced and is also expected to be affordable.

In the UK Powergen aims to have 400 units installed by July 2005 and offer the system nationally soon after. WhisperGen has already successfully been launched in the East Midlands, East Anglia, Yorkshire and North West Regions.

PowerGen figures suggest that micro CHP units could produce twenty per cent less CO2 per household than a conventional boiler. By 2020 they estimate that thirty per cent of households will be using micro CHP technology.

For further information contact Caroline Costello on 020 7908 6494/ 07968 215057 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

James Ruane: 0207 908 6474/ 07879 478315 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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