Jun 142015
Factory fumes spewing into the air Republic of Korea

Factory fumes spewing into the air
Republic of Korea

Norway’s first full-scale facility for CO2 capture may be built at Norcem’s cement factory in Brevik. Four technologies are being tested.

Membrane-based technology developed at NTNU is one of four technologies that may be used in a full-scale CO2 capture project – in a cement factory.

Gassnova, Norway’s state-funded effort to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies for commercial use, has identified  Norcem’s cement plant in Brevik and Yara’s ammonia plant in Porsgrunn as the most promising candidates for a full-scale CCS demonstration project in Norway. The decision was submitted to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) as part of a pre-feasibility study on 4 May.

“We’ve shown that membrane technology works, and are hoping it will be included in the next test phase in Brevik,” says May-Britt Hägg, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

“If we succeed here, we’ll have a prototype that will be of interest to both power stations and industry,” she adds.

Norcem’s cement factory in Brevik is the fourth largest point source of emissions in Norway, releasing nearly 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Yara in Porsgrunn is in fifth place, with roughly 560,000 tonnes. A waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud in Oslo may also be considered for CCS, Gassnova says.

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at Mongstad, a gas processing facility at Kårstø, and Hammerfest LNG in northern Norway are not being considered for CCS at the moment, according to the OED summary of Gassnova recommendations. The pre-feasibility study has not yet been made publicly available.

The government will review the recommendations and inform Parliament for Norway’s 2016 State budget, the OED wrote in a news release. The Ministry also noted that it would be “very difficult” to get a full-scale demonstration plant up and running by 2020.

First in the world?

If the government follows Gassnova’s recommendations, the first full-scale plant for post-combustion CO2capture in Norway would end up at Norcem in Brevik. In fact, it may well become the world’s first cement plant with CCS.  CCS projects that are currently planned for other countries do not now include any cement factories.

The cement industry is one of the largest sources worldwide of carbon emissions, accounting for around five per cent of global emissions. Two thirds of these CO2 emissions are released during the chemical process of burning limestone for cement production and can only be cut by extracting the CO2 from the emissions in one form or another. The international cement industry is following the test runs in Brevik with great interest. The Heidelberg Cement Group and ECRA (European Cement Research Academy) trade organization are partners in the project.

Amine technology is farthest along

Aker Solutions’ amine technology is clearly the most mature and proven technology of the four being tested. In a newsletter from the Research Council of Norway’s CLIMIT programme earlier this year,Liv Bjerge, the Norcem CO2 Capture Project Manager, said that amine technology is probably the only realistic choice for a full-scale facility to be completed by 2020.

“However, in the longer run, we certainly have several technologies. We are very excited about membrane-based technology,” she said.

Read more: Fighting climate change – with cement


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