First industrial pilot project to capture industrial CO2

On the huge site of the Dunkirk Steelworks (North), 7 kilometers long and 3 wide, this small column 22 meters high, lined with pipes, does not impress anyone. However, in the shadow of Arcelor-Mittal’s four blast furnaces, this facility could well equip thousands of industrial sites around the world if companies are serious about achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050. One year, 12-partner 3D project of the six European countries will indeed have to prove their effectiveness in releasing CO2-free smoke into the atmosphere.

The CO2 contacts the solvent in the absorber. The mixture passes through a decanter, which retains only the richest CO2 part, to be sent to the regenerator (stripper) where the solvent and gas are separated under a pressure of 5 bar and optimal thermal conditions. The decanter saves 30% energy. Copyright Ifp-ru

The technology used has been developed. “It has been over a century since amine-based solvents have demonstrated their effectiveness in separating carbon dioxide from other gases present in smoke.recalls Florence Delprat-Jeannot, CO2 coordinator at IFP-New Energies. The whole challenge is to optimize the composition of the solvent and reduce costs.”. It is on this basis that IFP-En undertook the research program that today has led to the Dunkirk pilot project. The tower consists of two columns, in one of which the solvent comes into contact with the smoke and absorbs CO2, and in the other the amines are degassed. “It works just like the human circulatory system.” compares Florence Delprat-Jeannot. IFP engineers worked on solvent optimization as well as system efficiency. Thus, the intermediate chamber retains solvents with an optimal CO2 content for returning low-loaded solvents to the circuit, which reduces energy costs by 30%.

Manufacturers campaign has already begun

Throughout the year, engineers will collect real-time data from the system, refine yields, check required amine levels, calculate the overall efficiency of the machinery, as well as its energy costs.

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