Air Liquide is to take part in several large-scale research projects in Europe and North America, testing processes that use oxygen (oxy-combustion) to minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industry and also testing technologies that capture CO2 from the exhaust gas following combustion.

Oxy-combustion is a promising solution for reducing the intensity of CO2 emissions from traditional industrial activities such as coal-fired power plants, blast furnaces and cement plants. Using oxygen for the combustion of coal or other fuels, results in exhaust gases of relatively pure CO2 that is ready for capture, storage or direct use towards enhanced oil recovery. For its part, Air Liquide provides oxygen, engineering and combustion expertise, as well as equipment, for the safe and efficient handling of the oxygen used during such testing.

In Europe, Air Liquide is a partner with TOTAL in the Lacq Project in southern France, which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of CO2 capture and storage in depleted natural gas fields. The project involves the revamping of an existing 30 MW boiler, so that it can be used for oxy-combustion and in addition to providing proprietary burners for the project, the company will supply TOTAL with up to 240 tpd of oxygen from an on-site unit.

Similarly in North America, at the Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc. (B&W PGG) Clean Environment Development Facility in Ohio, B&W PGG and Air Liquide successfully operated a 30 MW unit in full oxy-combustion mode. Following the next phase of testing, Air Liquide and B&W PGG intend to implement the technology at a larger demonstration plant where more than one million tonnes of CO2 could be captured in a single year.

François Darchis, senior vice president of the Air Liquide Group in charge of R&D and member of the Executive Committee, commented, “These partnerships demonstrate our commitment to make cleaner energy a reality. Globally, oxy-combustion will become an indispensable technique for reducing CO2 emissions from coal and other fuels combustion. Air Liquide is proud to take part in research and development programs such as these. We are doing our part to help the global industrial community reduce its carbon footprint.”