Carbon capture and storage is a technology family that enables significant greenhouse gas emission reductions in power production and energy-intensive industry. CCS provides one of the only means to decarbonise heavy industry without changing current production methods or raw materials. Oxyfuel combustion is a technology for capturing CO2 that is being developed at VTT.
CO2 capture through oxyfuel combustion
VTT has developed fluidized bed oxy-fuel combustion since the mid-2000s. One of the first successful oxyfuel combustion tests in a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) combustor was conducted at VTT. Many detailed techno-economic studies have been performed for determining the costs for applying CCS in power & heat generation and other industries. VTT is also developing chemical looping combustion, which, like oxy-fuel combustion, emits mainly water vapour.
In a recent EU FP7 project called “Flexi Burn CFB” which VTT coordinated, circulating fluidized bed combustion technology was developed for providing flexible air/oxygen operation of power plants with CCS. Currently, VTT is coordinating Cleen Ltd’s Carbon Capture and Storage R&D program (CCSP).
CCS development through piloting and modeling
VTT has comprehensive test facilities, including a pilot-scale CFB combustor that has been in use for oxyfuel tests. A dynamic simulation tool for oxyfuel power plants including boiler island, air separation unit and CO2 purification unit is developed for the Apros simulation environment.
VTT has conducted several CCS related concept studies based on real industrial plants for evaluating the impacts of CCS on the plant and on the surrounding energy system from the investor’s point of view. VTT’s CC-SkynetTM toolkit for techno-economic evaluations enables user-adjustable input parameters, presenting the feasibility in different economic situations.
VTT is Finland’s representative in IEA GHG’s Executive Committee, and actively participating in the Zero Emission Platform (ZEP) and the CCS joint program of European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).
Apart from enabling decarbonisation of power & heat generation CCS can also be applied in other manufacturing industries. For instance, CCS is one of the only means for decarbonising the steel industry.