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July 2010

July 31, 2010

Uhde Gasification Selected for Commercial Biomass-to-Methanol Plant in Sweden

VärmlandsMetanol AB has selected Uhde, a ThyssenKrupp company, as technology supplier and engineering partner for a biomass-to-methanol plant in Hagfors, Sweden, with an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of fuel-grade methanol from forest-residue biomass. Investment for the plant will be about SEK 3 billion (US$416 million).

The VärmlandsMetanol plant will be the first full-scale commercial biomass-to-methanol plant. The plant will gasify about 1,000 tonnes of wood biomass per day and convert the resulting syngas into some 375,000 liters (99,000 gallons US) of methanol per day via a catalytic process, according to Björn O. Gillberg, founder of VärmlandsMetanol. In addition to the methanol, the plant can deliver district-heating water with a thermal duty of 15 MW.

VärmlandsMetanol’s goal is to have the Hagfors plant operational at the end of 2013. Subsequently, it intends to build either by itself or in collaboration with other stakeholders, several other forest methanol and / or forest-diesel plants.

Methanol can be blended with gasoline at low- to mid-levels (up to 25%) for use in engines with no modification or used in flex-fuel vehicles for high blends. It can be converted into gasoline, or used as a liquid fuel option for fuel cells.

Biomass to Methanol. Modern interest substituting biomass for coal or natural gas as a gasification or reforming (respectively) feedstock to provide syngas for catalytic conversion to methanol reaches back several decades. As one example, the Hynol Process Project in the US focused on converting biomass and hydrogen into syngas used to produce liquid methanol at high temperatures and high pressures.

In a 2005 paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, Yin et al. note that:

The composition of syngas derived from biomass is different from that derived from natural gas and coal. The latter consists mainly of H2 and CO, with a small amount of CO2, whereas bio-syngas consists much more of CO2 but much less of H2, resulting in a low H/C ratio and a high CO2/CO ratio. Therefore, the composition of bio-syngas is not favorable for methanol synthesis under the conventional method.

The composition of bio-syngas is dependent on the gasification method used. Theoretically, a syngas with a H2/CO ratio of 2.0, which is appropriate for methanol synthesis, can be obtained adiabatically by adjusting certain gasification parameters. However, the differences between the actual data and theoretical results are substantial. Moreover, economical aspects must be considered for practical processes. In most cases, bio-syngas is a CO2-rich and H2-deficient feed gas, which can be tailored in the downstream process by water-gas shift reaction, by methane reforming, by CO2 removal, or by supplying H2 to readjust its composition before entering into the synthesis loop. However, the capital cost for syngas generation made in this way will be very high. Therefore, simplification in the syngas production would improve the overall process economics significantly.

Uhde. Uhde first designed and constructed a methanol plant in 1931, employing a high-pressure methanol synthesis process with the syngas feed being generated from coal.

Uhde later constructed the first low-pressure (LP) methanol plant using a copper-based catalyst, also with coal as feedstock. The first modern methanol plant, using steam reforming of natural gas and a low-pressure synthesis process (50 bar) was designed and supervised by Uhde in Romania in 1972/1974. Uhde partners with Johnson Matthey Catalysts (JMC), which has developed a new high-activity methanol synthesis catalyst (KATALCO 51-8).

In March, Uhde’s PRENFLO gasification process with direct quench (PDQ) was selected to be part of joint research and development project BioTfueL in France. (Earlier post.)

The PRENFLO process was selected on the basis of its flexibility in processing a wide variety of biomasses and other resources. It allows high energy efficiency and enables very pure synthesis gas to be produced. A torrefaction pre-treatment plant, which facilitates the application of biomass in the PRENFLO-PDQ entrained-flow gasifier, and ensures lowest possible energy consumption, is installed to allow the use of a wide range of biomasses.

Resources

  • Yanan Zhang, Jun Xiao and Laihong Shen (2009) Simulation of Methanol Production from Biomass Gasification in Interconnected Fluidized Beds. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 48 (11), pp 5351–5359 doi: 10.1021/ie801983z

  • Xiuli Yin, Dennis Y. C. Leung, Jie Chang, Junfeng Wang, Yan Fu, and Chuangzhi Wu (2005) Characteristics of the Synthesis of Methanol Using Biomass-Derived Syngas. Energy Fuels, 19 (1), pp 305–310 doi: 10.1021/ef0498622

  • Robert H. Borgward (1998) Methanol Production from Biomass and Natural Gas as Transportation Fuel. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 37 (9), pp 3760–3767 doi: 10.1021/ie980112n

  • Material and Energy Balances for Methanol from Biomass Using Biomass Gasifiers (NREL, 1992)

July 31, 2010 in Biomass, Gasification, Methanol | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Quallion Supplied Li-ion Battery for X-51A WaveRider Scramjet Flight

Quallion LLC, a developer of customized lithium-ion batteries, modules and packs for medical, military, aerospace, and vehicle applications (earlier post), supplied the Li-ion battery pack for the first flight of the hypersonic X-51A WaveRider ScramJet Demonstrator Program.

X51
Quallion X-51A Lithium-Ion Battery. Click to enlarge.

Quallion developed a high discharge rate 3.3Ah pouch cell for the X-51. The program chose to use rechargeable lithium-ion chemistry over the traditional silver-zinc solution to reduce ground maintenance prior to launch, which would allow for testing of the system without the need to replace the battery. Thus, Quallion LLC developed a high energy density and high discharge rate pouch cell to be the basis for three separate battery packs enclosed in one envelope on the vehicle.

This cell design had to be robust enough to handle three different performance requirements while maintaining the program’s weight goals.

The 3.3Ah cell is designed for greater than 10C capabilities for more than 50 cycles and high safety characteristics, with a gravimetric energy density of 120 Wh/kg and volumetric energy density of 252 Wh/L.

Quallion is developing an advanced lithium-ion anti-idling HVAC system for heavy-duty trucks, and is also targeting its systems for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles.

WaveRider. On 26 May, in its first flight attempt, the Boeing X-51A WaveRider successfully completed the longest supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight in history—nearly three and a half minutes at a top speed of Mach 5. The Waverider ScramJet Demonstrator Program is sponsored by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (USAFRL) and built by a consortium of The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney. The hypersonic—i.e., in excess of Mach 5 (3,800 mph; 6,145 km/h)—test vehicle is designed to achieve Mach 6+ speeds at an altitude of 100,000 feet.

During its first flight, the unmanned WaveRider vehicle was carried beneath a US Air Force B-52 and dropped from an altitude of about 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean off southern California. A solid rocket booster fired and propelled the cruiser to greater than Mach 4.5, creating the supersonic environment necessary to operate the engine.

The booster was then jettisoned and the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine ignited, initially on gaseous ethylene fuel. Next the engine transitioned to JP-7 jet fuel, the same fuel once carried by the SR-71 Blackbird before its retirement.

The vehicle’s fuel-cooled engine design serves both to heat the JP-7 to an optimum combustion temperature and to help the engine itself endure extremely high operating temperatures during the long burn.

The flight reached an altitude of about 70,000 feet and an approximate speed of Mach 5.

There are three remaining test vehicles for future test flights.

July 31, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sanyo Completes New Factory for Automotive Li-ion Batteries; Initial Capacity of 1M Cells Per Month

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. has completed its new factory for automotive lithium-ion batteries in its Kasai Plant (Kasai city, Hyogo prefecture, Japan.) The factory will start with a production capacity of 1 million cells per month, with the aim to expand the production scale depending on demand.

Sanyo has already been supplying nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) to Ford, Honda and Volkswagen, and co-developing NiMH batteries with PSA Peugeot Citroën.

In addition, Sanyo is co-developing lithium-ion batteries for hybrids (HEVs) with the Volkswagen group. Sanyo lithium-ion batteries for Plug-in HEVs (PHEVs) will also be applied in Suzuki vehicles.

The completion of the new factory will make it possible for Sanyo to further meet demands of the lithium-ion batteries from various auto makers.

Earlier in the week, Panasonic, which already has a 50.05% stake in Sanyo as of last year (earlier post) made a tender offer to purchase the remaining shares of Sanyo Electric Co and Panasonic Electric Works (PEW). Sanyo would thus become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic, rather than a consolidated subsidiary as it is currently. Panasonic will offer ¥138 per share (US $1.60) per share of Sanyo to complete the acquisition.

In June, an EV racing car powered by Sanyo Lithium-ion battery systems hit an all-time record for electric vehicles (EV) at the 2010 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado.

The EV racing car owned by Team Yokohama EV Challenge, a team of The Yokohama Rubber Company, participated in car/truck class of the exhibition division, and finished with 13 minutes 17 seconds as the best time, breaking a previous record of 14 minutes 33 seconds.

The 37 kWh (385V, 96 Ah) pack in the car comprised 6,656 cylindrical 18650-format cells.

July 31, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

CSIRO Develops New Technique for Quick Detection of Petroleum Hydrocarbons; More Rapid Response in Cases of Contamination

CSIRO scientists in Australia have developed a new technique for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment, or rock.

Developed in collaboration with waste technology specialist, Ziltek Pty Ltd, the technique enables the quantification of the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons simply by using a hand-held infrared spectrometer to take readings at the site of interest, without the need to take samples or perform any kind of processing.

While the technique could be used for oil exploration purposes, it will be particularly useful in assessing and monitoring contaminated sites such as coastal land following off-shore oil spills and industrial sites planned for urban redevelopment.

Petroleum hydrocarbons are a valuable resource, but can also be pretty nasty environmental contaminants. They can remain in the environment for extended periods of time and can be harmful to wildlife, plants and humans. Better tools to detect them makes a rapid response possible.

—Sean Forrester, CSIRO scientist

The technique uses an infrared signal to detect the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in samples. By contrast, current methods use sampling and processing techniques that are labour intensive, time consuming, require sensitive equipment and are not well suited to on-site analysis.

The ability of this new technique to rapidly detect the presence of contaminants at the site has the potential to provide significant cost advantages, in terms of reduced testing costs and the avoidance of delays. Rapid analysis allows immediate measures to be undertaken to prevent further contamination or to limit contaminant spread.

—Sean Forrester

A significant portion of the time and financial costs involved in assessing and remediating contaminated sites is consumed by monitoring and analysis. By decreasing analysis time and reducing costs this new technique can assist in the fast and effective identification of oil and other petroleum products in the environment, as well as treatment and protection of environmental assets threatened by petroleum contamination.

July 31, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

1-for-20 Reverse Stock Split for Advanced Engine Technologies, Developer of OX2 Engine

The common stock shares of Advanced Engine Technologies, Inc., the developer of the OX2 rotary engine (earlier post), have been reverse split 1-for-20. The announcement was made following the recent approval of the proposed reverse stock split by current shareholders.

We believe the reverse stock split will facilitate long term growth and increase shareholder value. The goal was to provide AET with the treasury stock needed to raise additional capital in the public and private sectors to complete development and subsequent commercialization of the OX2 engine.

—AET Chief Operating Officer, John Luft

As of the reverse stock split, more than 43,000,000 shares or options to purchase shares had been issued out of the 50,000,000 shares authorized by AET’s Articles of Incorporation. This left AET with an insufficient number of treasury shares available to issue so as to raise working capital, the company said.

The reverse split, which was approved by AET shareholders on 23 July 2010, will reduce the number of shares of outstanding common stock from approximately, 33,885,000 shares as of 11 Nov. 2009, to approximately 1,694,250 shares, based upon the reverse stock split ratio of 1-for-20. Rights to exercise previously granted, but not yet exercised, stock options will also be adjusted based upon the 1-for-20 ratio.

The OX2 is a 4-stroke, 1.1-liter internal combustion engine that weighs 75 percent less than and is half the size of traditional internal combustion engines.

The rotary engine is an 8-cylinder barrel configuration, using a stationary head and cam plate, and rotating cylinder block and piston plates. Each cylinder fires twice per revolution and two cylinders fire simultaneously, resulting in four times the output per revolution of a conventional four-stroke engine at the same displacement. The engine can be adapted to run any combustible gas or liquid as fuel.

With its expected higher power-to-weight ratio, multi-fuel capacity and anticipated low emissions and fuel efficiency, the OX2 has a practical application in the commercial and industrial generator markets. Additional future applications may include marine, light-duty farm and construction equipment, light aircraft and hybrid electric vehicles.

July 31, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 30, 2010

GM to Boost Volt US Production Capacity by 50% to 45,000 Units in 2012

Due to what it termed “strong public interest” in the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors will increase US production capacity of the Volt by 50%, from 30,000 units to 45,000 units, in 2012.

The announcement came as US President Barack Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, where the Volt is being produced now for sale later this year.

This week, participating Chevrolet dealers in launch markets began taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, following the release of retail and lease pricing. (Earlier post.) GM recently increased the number of US launch markets for the vehicle from three to seven. In the past few weeks, more than 25,000 people have joined the Chevrolet Volt enthusiast list.

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant received $336 million in new investment to prepare for production of the Volt, part of more than $700 million GM has invested in eight Michigan facilities to support Volt production since 2008. This includes a 33,000 square-foot battery systems lab in Warren; a battery assembly facility in Brownstown Township; and supporting engine and stamping operations in Grand Blanc, Bay City, and three plants in Flint.

July 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Coulomb Technologies Unveils First ChargePoint America EV Charging Stations in San Jose

Coulomb Technologies has installed its first Networked Charging Station for electric vehicles in San Jose, California from its $37 million ChargePoint America program (earlier post). ChargePoint America will offer hundreds of free stations for public and home charging to individuals and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Jose, for use by individual vehicle owners and by fleets.

Coulomb is working with Ford, Chevrolet and smart USA, all of whom have announced plans to introduce EVs in the Bay Area. The first two ChargePoint America stations are now installed at the McEnery Convention Center Parking Center.

Coulomb’s ChargePoint America program will provide some 4,600 charging stations to program participants in nine regions in the United States: Austin, Texas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Bellevue/Redmond, Wash., and Washington DC and is a strategic partnership between Coulomb and three leading automobile makers: Ford, Chevrolet and Smart USA.

Coulomb currently has more than 700 networked units shipped to more than 130 customers. Installation of the ChargePoint charging stations is underway now in all nine regions.

Coulomb’s ChargePoint Network is open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles and provides authentication, management and real-time control for the networked electric vehicle charging stations.

The $37 million ChargePoint America program is made possible by a $15-million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy. ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 public and home ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations by October 2011, adding to the existing ChargePoint Network.

Coulomb will work together with its distribution and industry partners to evaluate the demand from the respective geographic regions and allocate charging stations based on this and other factors. The ChargePoint America project will collect data characterizing vehicle use and charging patterns, and Purdue University and Idaho National Labs will analyze the data.

July 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Past Decade Warmest on Record According to Scientists in 48 Countries; Earth Has Been Warming for More Than 50 Years

The 2009 State of the Climate report released earlier this week draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that the world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.

Noaadecade
Global temperature change decade averages. Source: State of the Climate. Click to enlarge.

Based on comprehensive data from multiple sources, the report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes. The relative movement of each of these indicators proves consistent with a warming world.

Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land; sea-surface temperature; air temperature over oceans; sea level; ocean heat; humidity; and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice; glaciers; and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.

For the first time, and in a single compelling comparison, the analysis brings together multiple observational records from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean. The records come from many institutions worldwide. They use data collected from diverse sources, including satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, ships, buoys and field surveys. These independently produced lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: our planet is warming.

—Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator

The report emphasizes that human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape. These conditions are consistently warmer, and some areas are likely to see more extreme events like severe drought, torrential rain and violent storms.

Despite the variability caused by short-term changes, the analysis conducted for this report illustrates why we are so confident the world is warming. When we look at air temperature and other indicators of climate, we see highs and lows in the data from year to year because of natural variability. Understanding climate change requires looking at the longer-term record. When we follow decade-to-decade trends using multiple data sets and independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world.

—Peter Stott, Ph.D., contributor to the report and head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution of the United Kingdom Met Office Hadley Centre

While year-to-year changes in temperature often reflect natural climatic variations such as El Niño/La Niña events, changes in average temperature from decade-to-decade reveal long-term trends such as global warming. Each of the last three decades has been much warmer than the decade before. At the time, the 1980s was the hottest decade on record. In the 1990s, every year was warmer than the average of the previous decade. The 2000s were warmer still.

State of the Climate is published as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and is edited by D.S. Arndt, M.O. Baringer, and M.R. Johnson. The full report and an online media packet with graphics is available online.

July 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Mercedes-Benz Introduces Vito E-CELL Electric Van in Limited Series Production

Vitoecell
The Vito E-CELL van. Click to enlarge.

Mercedes-Benz is introducing the Vito E-CELL electric van. Production of a small series of 100 Vito E-CELL vans has already begun, and a further 2,000 units are planned from 2011. The van, targeted for inner-city operations and for particularly environmentally sensitive areas, is based on the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Vito with a standard roof. The long wheelbase of 3200 mm provides the necessary underbody space for the traction batteries.

With an operating range of around 130 km (81 miles), the Vito E-CELL meets average customer requirements for a daily van mileage of approx. 50-80 km (31-50 miles). Payload is around 900 kg (1,984 lbs) depending on equipment specifications, and the van has a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), making it also suitable for short inter-urban stretches.

Vitoecell2
The Vito E-CELL. Click to enlarge.

The Vito E-CELL is propelled by a permanent synchronous electric motor that develops a continuous output of 60 kW and a peak output of 70 kW. Maximum torque is 280 N·m (207 lb-ft). As the full torque is inherently available right from the start in electric motors, the Vito E-CELL delivers performance at the familiar level of modern diesel engines.

Power is transferred to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission developed specifically for the Vito E-CELL.

To save installation space for the batteries, and in contrast to the other models in the Vito series, the vehicle has front-wheel drive. With the exception of a few suspension components adopted from the Vito 4x4, the front-wheel drive system was specially developed for the Vito E-CELL.

Vitoecell3
Motor and power electronics are packaged under the hood. Click to enlarge.

In addition to the electric motor, other components such as the power electronics, transformer and the grid charging unit are accommodated beneath the engine cover. The 12 V onboard network was also completely newly developed.

The Li-ion batteries are housed under the load compartment floor, where the propshaft and fuel tank are usually located in the Vito. The batteries feature high performance and load capacity, a high energy density and a nominal voltage of 360 volts. Total capacity of the battery pack is 36 kWh, of which 32 kWh (89%) are available to power the vehicle.

The battery pack of the Vito E-CELL consists of 16 modules with a total of 192 cells, each cell being monitored by a battery management system. To avoid unnecessary power losses and the risk of damage caused by unauthorized persons when the vehicle is parked, a safety system (“Watchdog”) deactivates the high-voltage network when not in use.

The batteries, electric motor, converter and other electrical components of the drive system are water-cooled. For driver comfort during the colder months of the year, the Vito E-CELL is equipped with a heater booster. This is connected to the high-voltage network and the standard heating circuit in the instrument panel.

The batteries are charged at charging stations provided to the pilot customers by the two energy providers EnBW and Vattenfall. These companies are participating in the customer trials as cooperation partners in the Berlin (Vattenfall) and Stuttgart (EnBW) regions. The charging stations are installed on the business premises of the fleets involved. The charging socket of the Vito E-CELL is connected to the station using a standard seven-pin charging cable.

The batteries of the Vito E-CELL are charged at 380/400 volts; the onboard chargers have an output of 6.1 kW. Charging takes a maximum of six hours if the batteries are fully discharged. Using an additional charging cable with a conventional domestic power plug, the Vito E-CELL can also be charged from the 230 volt mains if required. In this case the charging time is doubled, however.

The batteries are also charged by energy recuperation while on the move, i.e. by regenerative braking, on the overrun and when reducing speed. All this is in interaction with the new ESP system.

The Vito E-CELL features a Smart Charge Communication Unit (SCCU) as standard, enabling smart charging. The charging units can be individually set at the multifunction steering wheel and in the instrument cluster to charge for times when low-cost electrical power is available. This can also be done centrally on a PC by the scheduler. The SCCU also allows parallel charging of several vehicles in a fleet, without overloading the grid.

Vehicle availability can also be calculated depending on the charge status of the batteries. A scheduler is able to call up the charge status and therefore the available operating range of the Vito E-CELL on a computer screen, and determine whether a particular van is able to carry out an additional assignment at short notice.

More than a dozen Vito E-CELL vans have undergone extended test drives both on enclosed test tracks and on the roads.

Mercedes-Benz will deliver 100 Vito E-CELL vans to customers between August and December this year. Half each will be taken into operation in Berlin and Stuttgart, and further units will be used in the Basque region of Spain early next year.

Although all densely populated, these areas not only differ in size but also in topographical terms, ensuring different operating conditions and therefore additional findings. Initial customers are predominantly fleet operators.

The customer trials for the Vito E-CELL are scheduled for four years and roughly 80,000 km (49,700 miles) per vehicle, after which the 100 vans will be returned to Mercedes-Benz. For this reason the customers are not purchasing their vehicles, but rather renting and financing them by paying a monthly user charge which also includes all the servicing for the Vito E-CELL.

Ideally the 100 Vito E-CELL vans will cover a total of around eight million kilometers (4.97 million miles) in roughly one dozen fleets during the customer trials, providing data and experience to support the further development of electric drive systems in light commercial vehicles.

In parallel with the practical trials, Mercedes-Benz will evaluate data such as route profiles, operating ranges and other parameters in order to tailor electrically powered vehicles even more precisely to customer requirements.

July 30, 2010 in Electric (Battery), Europe, Fleets | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

JGC, INPEX and BASF to Perform Demonstration Tests of New Technology to Capture CO2 from Natural Gas

JGC, INPEX and BASF have entered into an agreement to carry out joint demonstration tests on a new technology for effectively capturing and recovering CO2 contained in natural gas. The tests will be carried out at INPEX’s Koshijihara natural gas plant (Nagaoka city, Niigata prefecture) starting August 2010. A

Natural gas often contains CO2 when it is extracted from the well. Whether the natural gas is transported via pipelines, converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) or used in chemical processes, the CO2 has to be captured beforehand. Even state-of-the-art CO2 capture processes require a large amount of energy and the removal facilities account for a major part of investment and operating costs.

JGC and BASF jointly began developing a new technology for a CO2 capture process called High Pressure Acid Gas Capture Technology (HiPACT) in 2004. Following basic research and a series of trials, the new technology enables high-pressure CO2 recovery by regenerating the solvent at high pressure and temperature. The newly developed absorption solvent is highly stable at high temperature regeneration condition, and delivers superior CO2 absorption performance and low corrosivity. An important milestone in this development is transferring the new technology to an operating gas processing facility.

The advantage of HiPACT technology is twofold, the partners say:

  1. It reduces the overall power consumption of the facility and lowers investment costs.
  2. Because the CO2 is released from the solvent at well above atmospheric pressure there is a significant reduction in the amount of energy required if CO2 is used in high pressure applications such as chemical synthesis or sequestered underground.

Going forward with information from the test results, JGC and BASF will focus on the commercialization of HiPACT technology in all relevant sectors, for example in natural gas projects with CO2 reinjection. INPEX will aim at further energy savings at its natural gas plants by using the HiPACT technology.

Application of the technology in gasification processes is currently under development, according to JGC.

July 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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