Danish business, Haldor Topsoe, has signed an agreement with Icelandic geothermal power company, HS Orka hf, to deliver a plant to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from geothermal heat sources.

The plant will be the first to use Topsoe’s new selective oxidation catalyst, SMCTM, to remove sulphur from the offgas from Orka’s geothermal power plant and produce commercial grade CO2.

The SMC catalyst will be at the centre of the new demonstration plant which will be located next to Orka’s existing geothermal power plant in Svartsengi, Iceland. This plant will process 10% of the total off-gas stream to produce commercial grade CO2

It is our aim and responsibility to fully utilise the environmental and commercial possibilities from the geothermal sources we manage

Orka will pay Topsoe per tonne of CO2 that meets specific purity requirements, whilst Topsoe will design, engineer and deliver all the equipment and services for the plant, including remote monitoring and catalyst replacement.

Kristín Vala Matthíasdóttir, Vice-President, Resource Park at HS Orka hf, commented, “It is our aim and responsibility to fully utilise the environmental and commercial possibilities from the geothermal sources we manage. The agreement with Topsoe should allow us, as we have done with other streams of resources, to exploit the CO2 sources to its full extent. As an added benefit, the CO2 will be made available in the local market.”

The CO2 produced will be marketed to local greenhouses and algae producers to be able to grow products all year round – including in the long Icelandic winters.

According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the Icelandic CO2 market had a commercial market value of approximately $6.2m in 2014. In the same year, it is estimated that over 75% of CO2 produced in the European country was delivered in bulk, with the food and beverage industry being the largest consumer of CO2 in the country.