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Carbon capture process to be tested in Italy

IFP and ENEL have partnered to verify a first-generation post-combustion carbon capture process. Images courtesy of ENEL S.p.A. and IFP

Environmental technology research company Innovation, Energy, Environment (IFP) and Italian energy giant ENEL have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to test a first-generation post-combustion carbon capture process.

In its work researching carbon capture technology, IFP developed a first-generation flue gas scrubbing technology that uses chemical solvents. The carbon capture technology was successfully demonstrated on an industrial scale on the pilot unit of the European Castor project in Esbjerg, Denmark. IFP has since further developed the technology, managing to cut operating costs by regenerating the solvent. The ammonia content of the flue gases has also been significantly reduced, making the technology compliant with standards for atmospheric emissions.

The improved post-combustion carbon capture process developed by IFP will be incorporated into a new pilot unit built by ENEL for testing in a coal-fired power plant in Brindisi, Italy. Enel will additionally build a slip-stream pilot plant to capture 2.25 tons an hour of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the Brindisi power station. The pilot plant will start operating in early 2010. Results will be compared to other carbon-capture technologies.

The collaboration will benefit both companies. ENEL will be able to strengthen its position in CO2 capture and storage, and make it a more active company in the European zero-emission fossil fuel power plants (ZEP) initiative. IFP will be able to test and improve its technologies on larger, commercial power-generation scale. The two partners may extend their working relationship into second-generation processes currently being developed by IFP.

ENEL Europe’s second largest utility by installed capacity with about 83.3 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity across 22 countries. ENEL serves about 49 million electricity and gas customers. The company employs about 76,000 people, and posted 2008 revenues of €61.2 billion. It is listed on the Milan stock exchange EN.

IFP is a public-sector research and training center that focuses on developing technologies and materials in the fields of energy, transport, and the environment. IFP is headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison in France. It is funded by the French State and by foreign international partners.

Mike R. Lopez


1 PR Newswire

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