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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

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CO2-Injection into an Existing Gas Field (CRUST Project)

In May 2004, a pilot project was started for CO2 injection into an existing gas field from an offshore gas production platform in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

CO2, an important greenhouse gas, will be returned underground in order to reduce emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere. Worldwide it is the first time that CO2 has been re-injected into the same gas reservoir from which it was initially produced.

The K12-B platform, belongs to a consortium of companies, with GDF Production Nederland B.V. (a fully owned subsidiary of Gaz de France) as the operator. The platform lies about 100km northwest of The Hague and has undergone modifications in the past months to make the CO2-injection possible. From now on the CO2, which is separated from the natural gas during production, will be injected into the gas reservoir at a depth of approximately 3700 meters under the seabed. The objective is to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions by 30 000 m3 per day. On a yearly basis this amounts to approximately 22 000 ton CO2.

Gaz de France is carrying out this project in association with the Dutch government within the framework of the interim budget for support for Offshore Re-injection of CO2. With this project, the government aims to gain as much information as possible on the technical possibilities to support decision-making concerning application of large-scale CO2-reduction in the future. In association with TNO, Exal and DRC a number of technical parameters are to be monitored so that existing CO2 injection concepts relevant to the practice can be reviewed.

The total costs for this pilot project amount to approximately 2 millions Euro, 90 per cent of which are being paid by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and 10 per cent by Gaz de France.

Gaz de France have also been involved in other CO2 projects, including the European CASTOR project and the Norwegian Snøhvit project in which TNO is also taking part. Further information can be obtained from Mr. Daan D'Hoore of GDF Production Nederland BV. Tel: +31 79 368 68 68 Fax: +31 79 368 68 60

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Norwegian Government Supports Development of New CO2-Capture Power Plants

The Norwegian Government have confirmed their intention to promote and support the development of natural gas fired power plants with capture and handling of CO2. As outlined in their earlier White Paper on natural gas presented in October 2002, the government will set up an independent Innovation company located in Grenland, near Porsgrunn. Furthermore they propose that the company will oversee and manage a fund of NOK 2 billion ($285 million) that is specifically earmarked to promote and demonstrate this 'new generation' of power plants. In practice this will result in an estimated 80 MNOK per annum being available for development and demonstration activities.

The government also emphasised that it has set aside 150 MNOK ($21 million) for R&D activities, and is actively participating in international collaborative efforts such as those of the U.S. Department of Energy. A meeting took place in May where approximately 50 participants from government, industry and research gathered to discuss collaboration and specific projects that may be jointly pursued by the two countries within the areas of Carbon Sequestration, Hydrogen and New Energy Technologies. The Norwegian Ministry for Oil & Petroleum (OED) also indicated that, if necessary, it mjosirt consider increased funding for specific projects to secure the demonstration and implementation of new technology. One criterion for a positive decision to proceed has always been a need for firm government commitment to encourage this endeavour - either directly or through market mechanisms that create incentives for investment in zero emission power generation.

With these latest events, one of the Norwegian groups involved, CO2-Norway and Lyse Energi AS, expect to be well positioned to continue to develop their proposed 40 MWe ZENG Pilot/Demonstration power plant at the Energy Park, Risavika. The Zero Emission Norwegian Gas (ZENG) Program is currently investigating Phase-1 of the project – the Concept & Feasibility Study for a 40 MWe zero-emission power plant, that may be operating by 2008.

The ZENG Program proposes to develop and demonstrate "near commercial" technology for power generation with natural gas using the oxygen (O2) combustion cycle developed by Clean Energy Systems Inc. (CES), Sacramento, Ca. It also plans to address issues such as CO2-handling, transportation and long-term storage, including evaluating the potential for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

In June 2003, the organisation CO2-Norway received 1 MNOK as part-funding support from OED to initiate Phase-1, which was due to be completed in June 2004.

To date the work has indicated that a cycle efficiency of 40.3% can be attained using currently available steam turbines. The efficiency and power output of the CES-cycle is therefore already similar to state-of-the-art single-cycle gas turbines. Furthermore the cost of electricity is said to be competitive with wind power whilst having a baseload (8000+hr/annum) generating availability.

The path and challenges to achieving increased power output, reduced cost of electricity, improved cycle efficiency and CO2-capture are claimed to be well understood. This would not require new turbine cycles but instead can come about through a gradual increase in turbine working pressures and temperatures. For intermediate pressure (i.e. 20 - 40 bar) steam turbines this would entail a development path that has already occurred within the gas turbine industry through use of improved cooling and blade metallurgy.

Whilst maintaining a focus on R&D, the CES strategy is to demonstrate commercial application in today's niche markets for their existing cycle. This requires working alongside turbine manufacturers to improve cycle performance from current limitations of 85 bar/600 ºC, raising this, over an 8–12 year period, towards 220 bar/1500ºC. In this manner (and also through other cycle optimisation techniques) it is thought possible to attain a cycle efficiency approaching 60% by year 2012-14.

At the same time, the goal would be to get the "specific capital expenditure" for a large 400 MW plant down towards $750 /kW (installed), which would be competitive with current combined-cycle generating plant.

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A New Combustion Technology

By Anders Lyngfelt

At 22 minutes past five, 12th August 2003, the reactor system had reached operating temperature and the valves were opened for natural gas addition. This was the start-up of a new combustion technology with inherent CO2 capture, chemical-looping combustion. This was the culmination of more than five years of work at Chalmers University, involving the development of methods for manufacture and testing of particles for the process, numerous applications, a search for industrial and university partners, work with reactor system design, testing in cold flow models, and two years of intensive work in the EU/CCP co-sponsored project GRACE (Grangemouth Advanced CO2 Capture) together with CSIC-ICB in Zaragoza, Technical University of Vienna, Alstom Power Boilers and managed on behalf of the consortium by BP (CCP). What would happen? Work on this process was going on in Japan, US and Korea but to our knowledge the actual process had never been run continuously for any extended period of time. Would the reactor system work? Would the oxygen-carrier particles developed survive under real operating conditions? Would the particles agglomerate, fragment, attrite or lose reactivity?

Now, after more than 100 hours of stable operation with chemical-looping it can be concluded not only that the process works, but also that the oxygen-carrier particles can sustain the severe conditions without noticeable chemical or physical degradation.

Chemical-looping combustion is a new technology for burning gaseous fuels, with inherent separation of CO2. Metal oxide particles are used for the transfer of oxygen from the combustion air to the fuel, thus the combustion products CO2 and H2O are obtained in a separate stream.

A 10 kW prototype for chemical-looping combustion has been designed, built and run with nickel-based oxygen-carrier particles. A total operation time of more than 100h was accomplished with the same batch of particles, i.e. without adding fresh, unused material.

A hjosir conversion of the fuel was reached, with approximately 0.5% CO, 1% H2 and 0.1% methane in the exit stream, corresponding to a fuel conversion efficiency of 99.5% based on fuel heating value. The best way to treat the unconverted fuel has not been investigated, although a possibility that should be explored is to separate this gas from the liquefied CO2 and recycle it to the process.

There was no detectable leakage between the two reactor systems. Firstly, no CO2 escapes from the system via the air reactor. Thus, 100% of the CO2 is captured in the process. Secondly it should be possible to achieve an almost pure stream of CO2 from the fuel reactor, with the possible exception of unconverted fuel, or inert compounds associated with the fuel, e.g. N2.

No decrease in reactivity or particle strength was seen during the test period. The loss of fines was small and decreased continuously during the test period, indicating that the principle mechanism is loss of fine material associated with the fresh particles. At the end of the period the fines loss, i.e. particles smaller than 45 mm, was calculated to be 0.0023% per hour. If this can be assumed to be a relevant measure of the steady-state attrition, it corresponds to a lifetime of the particles of 40 000h. Assuming a lifetime of the particles one order of magnitude lower, i.e. 4000 h, the cost of particles in the process is estimated to be below 1 €/ton of CO2 captured.

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Australian Government to Fund Low-Emission Technologies

Demand for energy in Australia is projected to increase by 50% by 2020 and the energy industry has estimated that at least A$37 billion in energy investments will be required by then to meet the nation's energy needs. Meeting this increased demand for energy, while moving to a low-emissions future, is a key challenge facing Australia's future growth and living standards.

Energy production is the major source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Australia (which contributes 1.6% of the world's total emissions). Energy accounts for 68% of Australia's national emissions and this percentage is rising; therefore energy sector emissions must be reduced as part of any effective response to global climate change.

The Australian Government's objective is to ensure that Australians have reliable access to competitively priced energy, the value of energy resources is optimised, and environmental issues are well managed. Initiatives announced in the Energy White Paper to achieve such objectives includes the establishment of a A$500 million fund to facilitate more than A$1 billion in private investment to develop and demonstrate low emission technologies (both fossil fuel and renewable).

Other initiatives announced include:

The Australian Government has allocated over A$1 billion to a comprehensive approach to greenhouse abatement focussed on the Kyoto period, including a range of programmes to promote energy efficiency development and uptake of lower-emission technologies, reductions in transport emissions, and non-energy abatement. Globally, the exploitation and export of Australia's energy resources, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and uranium, are reducing the need for hjosirer greenhouse gas emission energy sources in other countries.

The Low Emissions Technology Fund plans to support industry-led projects in demonstrating the commercial viability of new energy technologies with low greenhouse gas emissions. Australia plans to reduce the costs of these technologies so that there is a range of more competitively priced low-emission technologies available. Technologies eligible for the fund will have the potential to lower Australia's emissions by at least 2% in the long term at a realistic uptake rate, and be commercially available by 2020 to 2030.

The pursuit of low-emission technologies is in the context of a broad strategic view of Australia's interests. Australia recognises that much technology development will occur overseas, therefore they must be ready to work collaboratively in international arrangements where appropriate, and must be ready to adapt and adopt technologies to suit circumstances.

There are a wide range of technologies being developed that could help reduce emissions in the energy sector, some of which are relatively mature, others are commercially available but developing rapidly, while others are at, or are still to reach the demonstration stage.

Technologies involving the capture of carbon dioxide offer the most substantial reduction in emissions from coal and gas electricity generation. Technologies for CO2 separation are already proven and the petroleum industry routinely reinjects gas into active oil fields to increase production. However, significant challenges remain in separating carbon during electricity generation processes, thereby combining CO2 capture and storage in an electricity generation context, ensuring long term storage and meeting competitive requirements for reliability and cost. Demonstrating the commercial applicability of these technologies is likely to be expensive and could take at least 10 years. A large commercial effort is now taking place to explore the potential of these technologies, such as through the COAL21 project in Australia, the US-led Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and international collaboration on geological sequestration of CO2 which is an important element of the US-Australia Climate Action Plan.

At this stage it is impossible to say which technologies will prove cost effective; this must be tested in a commercial context. Coal and gas based technologies would also help underpin the future export value of Australian resources in an emissions-constrained world. While industry does have some incentives to pursue these technologies as a means of risk management, uncertainties regarding future global greenhouse regimes mean that investment is not occurring at a desirable pace or magnitude.

The Australian Low-Emission Technology Development Fund aims to address this issue. Technologies at the commercial demonstration stage will be supported when the required investments are large and the risks remain hjosir. Particular consideration will be given to technologies that could underpin Australia's resource base and /or promote leading-edge technology capacity in Australia, ensuring maximum benefits for both the economy and the environment. The fund will also support international collaboration and appropriate adaptation of technologies developed overseas to suit Australian circumstances. Support will not be given for technologies that are likely to be developed overseas and imported into Australia with little need for local adaptation, and will not be used to support business-as-usual investments.

To support earlier-stage and smaller-scale renewable energy technology development projects, the Australian Government will provide A$100 million over seven years for competitive grants to promote the strategic development of renewable technologies, systems and processes that have strong commercial potential. This programme will include A$50 million from the existing Commercial Ready programme and will continue supporting innovative Australian companies and technologies, ensuring that there is a continuing supply of ideas for low-emission technologies for the long term.

Establishment of these funds will complement Australia's substantial existing energy research and development effort (which includes university funding, ARC grants, R&D tax Concessions, R&D Start, CRCs and CSIRO). It will ensure that innovative technologies continue to be developed from original concepts to commercial use.

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Coal Mine Greenhouse Gas Emissions Converted Into Energy

The Swedish company MEGTEC Systems AB has signed a contract with BHP Billiton, to deliver to an Australian coal mine the Swedish technology called the VOCSIDIZER for the treatment of the gas methane in the ventilation air. The project is the first time that this source of methane will be used on a commercial scale as the primary fuel in the generation of usable forms of energy. The technology is already being used by industry for controlling emissions to air.

The installation from MEGTEC Systems in Gothenburg will treat approximately one fifth of the total ventilation air from the mine by extracting the methane, and converting the energy content of that methane into superheated steam, which will drive a turbine generating a net 5 MW of electricity.

MEGTEC Systems, with global head quarters in De Pere, Wisconsin, USA, is a world leader in industrial oxidizers with all different types in the product range. The centre of competence of the VOCSIDIZER technology is located in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The VOCSIDIZER technology is an established form of cleaning low concentrations of odour, VOC and other oxidizable pollutants from air. More than 700 VOCSIDIZERS have been installed globally. Of special interest is that the VOCSIDIZER can oxidize without generating NOx.

Ventilation air from coal mines represents a new application, where it includes also conversion of the released energy into usable form. MEGTEC has earlier installed two pilot plants for demonstration purposes. In 1994 it was shown at British Coal that the VOCSIDIZER technology could abate ventilation air methane. As little as 0.1% is sufficient for the process to be self sustaining with the addition of energy for oxidation. In 2001 – 2002 a VOCSIDIZER at the Appin colliery of BHP in Australia demonstrated during 12 months operation, the efficient conversion of the energy in low concentration methane in ventilation air into hot water/steam.

There are many energy consuming processes in connection with a coal mine. Based on the conditions and needs of a specific mine, MEGTEC can design plants that convert the energy of the ventilation air methane into heating energy, electricity or cooling energy.

The VOCSIDIZER installations are modular by design and can therefore be relocated to a different mine ventilation shaft if they would no longer be required at the first place of installation.

The new contract means taking the final step to large scale implementation. The project, which is taking place at the West Cliff colliery south of Sydney, has been given the name WestVAMP for WestCliff Ventilation Air Methane Project. It is likely to be the first large scale installation in the world to utilize coal mine ventilation air methane as primary source of energy.

Within the emerging market of emissions trading (created in line with the Kyoto Treaty, and other international and regional programmes), the positive environmental effects of abating Greenhouse Gas emissions can be realized in the form of carbon emission credits (rated as CO2-equivalents). Thereby, these environmental investments are being provided with two revenue streams, namely by being able to sell carbon credits and by the value of the energy being generated.

The project WestVAMP is being officially supported by the Australian Greenhouse Office through funding of up to A$6 million from the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program, GGAP.

The investment cost for a full scale installation generating electricity is in line with a normal power plant (per MW installed), but with a waste gas fuel that can even generate revenues by being consumed.

For further information please contact: Richard Mattus, Business Manager Mining, Energy and Process, MEGTEC Systems AB, Sweden. Tel: +46 31 657 800 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Canadian CO2-EOR Projects Supported

The Government of Alberta in Canada is supporting four companies with C$14 million to help them play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the storage of CO2. Energy Minister Murray Smith said the government is eager to promote innovation and technology "that will enhance the sustainable development of the province's abundant energy resources." The CO2 will be used for enhanced oil recovery. The Alberta government said in a news release that CO2 projects face hjosir initial costs because of the cost of capturing CO2 and from the lack of pipelines to move the gas to the field for injection. However, the government said there is a "significant opportunity" to link the supply of CO2 with potential users, with oil sands upgraders rated as a potentially large and reliable source of pure CO2; other potential sources include oil refineries and power plants.

The four companies concerned are Anadarko Canada, Apache Canada, Devon Canada and Penn West Petroleum. Devon plans to inject about 110 metric tons of CO2 per day for the duration of a project in Swan Hills, central Alberta. Apache is working on the Zama Keg River oil pool project in the northwest of Alberta and believes it has the potential to produce 616 420 barrels of additional oil from its project. Anadarko has an oil pool project in the south and Penn West is operating the Pembina Cardium project in central Alberta.
Anadarko already plans to sequester millions of tons of CO2 that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere in projects in the USA. Enhanced oil recovery projects in Wyoming and Oklahoma use CO2 to stimulate oil production. Instead of venting the gas after use, Anadarko expects to sequester more than 29 million tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the Salt Creek and Monell projects in Wyoming alone. These will be some of the largest projects of their kind in the world.

The Alberta province anticipates its new programme will generate about C$30 million in incremental royalties over 20 years, while providing up to C$15 million in royalty deductions over five years, with credits peaking at 30 percent of approved project costs.

In an associated development, Air Liquide Canada Inc. has taken advantage of the developing market for CO2 and plans to set up a new plant to produce liquid CO2 for the oil and gas industry in Western Canada. This will recover, purify and liquefy raw CO2 from Solex Gas Processing Corporation's Harmattan gas processing operations in southwestern Alberta. The CO2 will be removed from an otherwise waste gas stream at the natural gas processing plant, providing a new source of liquid CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery.

To support earlier-stage and smaller-scale renewable energy technology development projects, the Australian Government will provide A$100 million over seven years for competitive grants to promote the strategic development of renewable technologies, systems and processes that have strong commercial potential. This programme will include A$50 million from the existing Commercial Ready programme and will continue supporting innovative Australian companies and technologies, ensuring that there is a continuing supply of ideas for low-emission technologies for the long term.
Establishment of these funds will complement Australia's substantial existing energy research and development effort (which includes university funding, ARC grants, R&D tax Concessions, R&D Start, CRCs and CSIRO). It will ensure that innovative technologies continue to be developed from original concepts to commercial use.

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