Air Products has announced it will play a key role in the world's first full demonstration of oxyfuel carbon capture and sequestration, with the signing of an agreement with Vattenfall AB, one of Europe's leading energy companies.

Air Products will install a proprietary carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, purification and compression system, at Vattenfall’s research and development facility in Schwarze Pumpe, Germany, which is viewed globally as the preeminent CO2 oxyfuel project.

The company will focus specifically on the purification and compression of oxyfuel combustion flue gas, taking flue gas directly off Vattenfall's 30 megawatt (MW) wall-fired boiler at the oxyfuel pilot plant.

It will purify and compress the carbon dioxide, a portion of which will ultimately be transported for sequestration.

Air Products' proprietary sour compression technology uses a staged compression process to optimise pressure, hold-up, and residence time to allow removal of impurities during the compression process.

This allows cost savings in the oxyfuel combustion process and minimises the concentration of acidic components, important in preventing corrosion during the CO2 sequestering process.

This pilot will demonstrate the efficient purification of CO2, and remove inert gases, in particular oxygen.

In addition, it will incorporate novel membrane technology, targeting carbon capture rates as high as 98%.

The two companies have also executed a joint research and development agreement related to the project; Air Products' pilot plant is to be operational at Schwarze Pumpe in December 2010.

$quot;This is the world's first full demonstration of oxyfuel CO2 capture and sequestration, and our unique CO2 purification and compression technology will be validated at pilot scale through this work,$quot; said David J. Taylor, Vice President of Energy Businesses at Air Products.

$quot;We are honoured to have been chosen by Vattenfall for this project, and we look forward to working closely with one of the global leaders in CO2 capture solutions.$quot;

Göran Lindgren, CCS R&D Manager at Vattenfall was also confident of the company’s decision to choose Air Products, he said, $quot;It is crucial for Vattenfall to qualify a portfolio of optional technology use in the coming deployment phase of CCS, carbon capture and storage. Air Products has been engaged in innovative oxyfuel solutions for many years and we are pleased to get them on board in our pilot facility.$quot;