In an exclusive interview with gasworld, Oscar Graff, Vice-President and Head of CCUS Technologies at Aker Solutions discusses the carbon capture contract recently signed with Twence and its Just Catch modular carbon capture system.
Aker Solutions, an engineering and technology company, has been involved in the carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) for the past 20 years. During its involvement within the CCUS industry, Aker Solutions has delivered the Sleipner platform for permanent storage of CO2 and the world’s most advanced amine-based capture plant at Technology Centre Mongstad. Since 2005 Aker Solutions has focused on the development and testing of its post combustion capture technology which is now available on the market.
Aker Solutions’ latest endeavour within the carbon capture market saw the signing of a carbon capture contract with Netherlands-based Twence in April (2019). The contract, for the delivery of carbon capture and liquefaction at Twence’s waste-to-energy plant in Hengelo, the Netherlands, featured Aker Solutions’ Just Catch Technology.
gasworld spoke to Oscar Graff, Vice-President and Head of CCUS Technologies at Aker Solutions to discuss the recent contract and the company’s modular carbon capture Just Catch technology.
“The contract for the Twence waste-to-energy facility in the Netherlands is a breakthrough in the carbon capture market and confirms that we have an interesting and competitive product to offer,” Graff explained.
“We have worked hard to reduce the cost, footprint and the delivery time for our standardised Just Catch plants. The industry is exploring how to reduce its carbon footprint, and our flexible capture process may be applied in several industries. The Twence contract will give us important knowledge and experience regarding construction, installation and operations, with the aim of further improvements for subsequent plants.”
The Just Catch technology received a boost from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. The agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise of this century below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
“After the Paris Climate Agreement, we saw an increased interest for carbon capture from various industries and for medium size plants. How could Aker Solutions deliver competitive capture plants in this market? We started with the definition of some success criteria for these plants; standardised, complete delivery from fabricator, easy transport and access to most existing facilities, minimum installation and hook-up work, fully automated and as compact as possible,” Graff explained to gasworld.
“The result became Just Catch, comprising three process containers and one E&I container plus columns, flue gas fan and reboiler. The plant also has an integrated reclamation system.”
The Just Catch and liquefaction plant at Twence’s facilities has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum (TPA) and is planned to be in operation by 2021. gasworld asked Graff about the carbon capture process behind the Just Catch technology.
“The process is an improved amine-based post combustion technology. The flue gas (comprising CO2) is routed to a direct contact cooler and a flue gas fan before entering the main absorber column. In the absorber the flue gas is scrubbed with a solvent flowing downwards.”
“About 90% of the CO2 is removed from the gas before it leaves the column top via a discharge stack to air. The CO2 is captured in a water/amine solvent which is heated up by steam to about 120°C and the CO2 is stripped off in a desorber column. The CO2 is further cooled and routed to the end user.”
“The process has low energy consumption (steam), uses a proprietary solvent (S26) which is extremely robust, non-toxic, biodegradable and non-corrosive. Just Catch also comprises our unique Anti-Mist system which gives minimum emissions to air.”
The capture process behind the Just Catch technology has been around since 2016, but the actual modular design of Just Catch has been developed over the last two years. The running cost of the technology is mainly steam consumption. This cost of steam will vary at different locations.
The contract contributes to the Netherlands’ progress towards the goals set in the Paris Climate agreement, Twence ran a public procurement process to find a carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) provider and the partnership with Aker Solutions in the Netherlands was the outcome.
“It seems that the Netherlands is an early mover in the carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) market and CO2 has been utilised in greenhouses for many years. However, we anticipate that other countries will follow soon and there are several identified prospects in the planning phase.”
Aker Solutions recognises that the climate target of plus 1.5°C in 2050 will be costly and challenging to meet without CCUS, therefore highlighting the importance in encouraging that the industry now starts to apply CCUS.
“We want to expand the delivery of Just Catch to various regions and different industries. We are also exploring new market segments. One example is that we are considering Just Catch for a FPSO in the Barents Sea, where CO2 is captured from the gas turbines and stored permanently in a geological reservoir,” Graff concluded.