ACCSESS: Demonstrating carbon capture across Europe

Source: press release, 15 September 2021

photo: Saipem
photo: Saipem

ACCSESS logoTechnology to capture CO2 from industry is to be demonstrated across Europe thanks to an EU grant. The Horizon 2020 innovation project ACCSESS brings together 18 European partners from eight different countries. Among other research tasks, ACCSESS will demonstrate CO2 capture from flue gases coming from several hard-to-abate industries with an environmentally benign solvent technology through the modification of an existing mobile CO2 capture plant.

Capturing CO2 from hard-to-abate industries
Hard-to-abate industries are responsible for significant amounts of the overall CO2 emissions. For example, the cement industry alone generates as much as 8% of man-made global CO2 emissions.

CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS) are a series of technologies designed to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions from hard-to-abate sectors.

When applied to flue gases from biomass, CCS provides a way not only to cut emissions but also to create a climate positive solution, whereby additional CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. This is feasible in several industry sectors including pulp and paper, biomass-fuelled cement production and waste-to-energy.

Scaling CO2 capture technology
Interest in CCS is growing and vast storage capacity under the North Sea is already available and other may be available elsewhere in future. The recent “Net Zero by 2050” report from the International Energy Agency states an annual CCS target of 7,600 Mt by 2050, compared with around 40 Mt today.

The scale-up challenge is enormous. In order to be ready, taking full advantage of this radical emissions-reduction measure, cost competitive capture technologies and CO2-transport modalities must be quickly brought to market and industries must collaborate and learn across sectors. The ACCSESS project aims to facilitate this process.

Demonstrating CO2 capture across Europe in different industrial environments
Fortum Oslo Varme owns and runs Norway’s largest waste-to-energy facility in the outskirts of Oslo. The excess heat from the end treatment of waste is used as an energy source for their renewable district heating and cooling system in the Oslo region. Their mobile CO2 capture pilot plant enabled their industrial-scale CO2 capture project, partially funded by the Norwegian government.

Fortum Oslo Varme has now made the pilot plant available to the ACCSESS project to further accelerate CO2 capture. The pilot plant will be modified for operation with the environmentally benign “CO2 Solutions by Saipem” capture technology.

Following these modifications and using the Saipem technology, the pilot plant will be tested first at Fortum’s plant in Oslo and then at the Technology Centre Mongstad where it is possible to perform tests in a wide range of operating conditions, beyond what is possible in an industrial environment. Subsequently, two 6-month test campaigns will be carried out at a Stora Enso kraft pulp mill in Sweden and a HeidelbergCement kiln in Poland.

Laying the foundations for carbon dioxide removal
The ACCSESS project will contribute to laying the foundations for industrial implementation of CCS.

Importantly, 10% to 100% of the flue gases at Fortum Oslo Varme, Stora Enso and HeidelbergCement come from biomass. As biomass naturally captures CO2 from the air, the test programme will be a step towards net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere.