First metric ton of CO2 captured at coal power plant in Le Havre


CO2 capture tests were initiated at Alstom’s and EDF’s research demonstration unit at EDF’s coal-fueled thermal power station in Le Havre, France.  CO2 capture tests were initiated at Alstom’s and EDF’s research demonstration unit, which was selected for funding by the ADEME in 2010, with the capture of the first metric ton of CO2 July 11.

Funded at 25% by the ADEME’s research demonstration fund, this €22 million investment is part of the EDF Group’s determination to invest in research and innovation towards reducing the environmental impact from power stations that use fossil sources of energy.

A dozen engineers from the Research and Development teams at EDF and Alstom are driving the tests. The intent of these tests is to confirm the predicted quantity of energy and amine solvent required to operate the unit, so as to assess whether the process is worthwhile from a cost and an environmental standpoint. They will also look at how the unit performs in an industrial setting, as well as how flexible it is to use within a fully operating power plant. Such tests represent a crucial step in developing efficient industrial solutions for capturing CO2.

This pilot is installed in unit 4 at the coal-fueled EDF thermal power station in Le Havre. The technology, provided by Alstom in partnership with The Dow Chemical Co. and chosen by EDF, consists in cleaning the flue gas with UCARSOL™ FGC-3000 amine solvent from Dow, which is the base component of the reagent used to separate CO2 from the flue gas. For this pilot unit, Alstom and Dow have deployed an advanced configuration for the process, specifically developed to minimise energy consumption.

The objective, using this research prototype, is to capture about 1 metric ton of CO2 per hour. The CO2 will be released into the stacks, the aim of the project being to test the CO2 capture process itself and not the storage. Following technical testing, EDF will analyse the cost implications of the process.

Alstom develops a portfolio of the most advanced Carbon Capture Technologies for Power and Industrial applications and has participated in 13 pilot and validation units with the global energy sector’s biggest utilities and industrial companies around the world. In parallel, the Group is now active in several large-scale demonstration projects in development.

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