Testing carbon capture

March 15, 2006, 14:15 CET

New technology could reduce the costs of carbon dioxide capture substantially. Statoil’s metering and technology laboratory (K-Lab) at Kårstø, north of Stavanger, will soon be testing such technology.

"There are several types of technology that are ready for large-scale testing," says Odd Furuseth, project manager for carbon dioxide management at Statoil's research centre in Trondheim. "If we are successful, the technology can be commercialised."

Statoil and the supplies industry are cooperating with the Research Council of Norway and the state-owned gas centre Gassnova on several development projects regarding carbon management. One of these projects is led by Aker Kværner and focuses on improving existing technology.

"By improving current technology, the costs of separating carbon dioxide from flue gas in gas turbines can be reduced," he says. "The plan is to start these tests at the K-Lab this year."

Statoil is also cooperating with Aker Kværner and the Sintef research foundation on testing new chemicals (amines) that are used for carbon capture.

"These chemicals will reduce the energy used for carbon capture and thus reduce costs," says Mr Furuseth. The goal is to reduce the overall cost of carbon capture to such an extent that the method can be a real alternative to buying carbon quotas."

The ambition is to halve the costs of carbon capture, which means NOK 200 per tonne of carbon dioxide. If this is feasible, Statoil could apply this new technology at its facilities in Norway and internationally.

The pilot rig at the K-Lab is to be upgraded for the planned tests. The flue gas from existing gas turbines at Kårstø will be used for this purpose, and K-Lab will be a demonstration facility for this type of technology.