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Linde Group, Vattenfall enter technology partnership

The technology group Linde Group and Vattenfall Europe Technology Research GmbH, a subsidiary of the Vattenfall energy group, have entered into a wide-ranging technology partnership for carbon dioxide separation in coal-fired power stations.

The aim of the collaboration is to test the oxyfuel combustion process for lignite and anthracite and to develop the technology for subsequent use in large power stations, the companies said in a press release.

The tests are being conducted at the research facility for a coal-fired power station using carbon dioxide capture technology in Schwarze Pumpe in Brandenburg, Germany, recently officially inaugurated by Vattenfall. Linde has built an air separation plant and a carbon dioxide liquefaction plant for this pilot power station. Linde is supporting Vattenfall via a technology partnership, providing extensive scientific and technical expertise during the first trial phase to the end of 2011.

“This promising collaboration with Vattenfall can provide an important impulse to climate protection,” said Aldo Belloni, a member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “Our professed aim is to use our technologies to contribute towards a reduction in emissions. Our activities therefore range from continually improving the efficiency of our plants through CO2 separation technologies and adopting sensible recycling concepts to producing environmentally friendly fuels.”

At the research facility, a huge variety of tests and experiments will be conducted during the operation of the pilot plant. These will create a better understanding of the entire oxyfuel combustion process and of the reaction of individual components within the process chain. In the oxyfuel process, the coal is not combusted with air from the environment, but in an atmosphere of recycled flue gas and pure oxygen. The carbon dioxide can then be separated from the flue gas stream by a process of condensation and liquefied by applying pressure.

Under the technology partnership, Linde will moreover take delivery from Vattenfall of around 4,000 tons of liquefied CO2 per annum from the research facility and market it. Both companies also intend to work together to develop further possible applications for the separated liquefied CO2 which is not required for the storage projects. Rather than being stored, the separated CO2 could be channeled into another constructive application, which would avoid expending large amounts of energy on manufacturing the product for that application. (press release)