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3rd Post Combustion Capture Conference (PCCC3


1 MWth pilot testing and scale-up of the carbonate looping process
in the SCARLET project
Jochen Hilza*, Martin Helbiga, Alexander Stroha, Jochen Ströhlea, Bernd Epplea,
Christoph Weingärtnerb, Olaf Stallmannb
Institute for Energy Systems and Technology, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Otto-Berndt-Str. 2, DE-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Alstom Carbon Capture GmbH, Lorentz-Schott-Str.4 , DE-55252 Mainz-Kastel, Germany

Keywords: Carbonate Looping; Carbon capture; Fluidized bed; Post combustion; Limestone; Pilot plant

1. Introduction

The carbonate looping (CL) process is a promising post combustion CO2 capture technology for power and
industrial plants using limestone based sorbents. It is characterized by a low energy penalty (~6 % points efficiency
drop including CO2 compression), low CO2 capture costs and low environmental impact. The CO2 contained in the
flue gas is absorbed by solid CaO (burnt lime) in the carbonator and transferred as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to the
calciner. There, CO2 is released in an endothermic reaction. A gas stream of highly concentrated CO2 leaves the
calciner, while the solid CaO is returned to the carbonator. A semi-industrial scale CL pilot plant consisting of two
interconnected circulating fluidized bed (CFB) reactors with a thermal capacity of 1 MWth has been designed and
erected at Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany). The pilot plant has been operated for more than 1500 h in
fluidized bed mode, thereof more than 400 h with CO2 capture [1]. In the frame of the EU-FP7 project SCARLET
(Scale-up of Calcium Carbonate Looping Technology for Efficient CO2 Capture from Power and Industrial Plants),
the CL process is further investigated under real conditions in the 1 MWth pilot plant and scaled up to a thermal
power 20 MWth. The present work gives an overview of work programme of the SCARLET project and presents the
first results with the main focus on pilot testing in 1 MWth scale and model development.

2. Work programme

Long-term test campaigns in an upgraded 1 MWth pilot plant with an oxy-fired calciner are carried out using
different fuels (crushed hard coal and lignite) as well as addition of steam and SO2 to the process in order to
investigate the CL process under the conditions of power plant applications. Process models and CFD models for
scale-up of the technology are developed and validated against experimental data of the 1 MWth pilot plant. These
models are then applied to the design, cost estimation, and risk assessment of a 20 MWth pilot plant, which is led by
Alstom Carbon Capture GmbH, one of the leading CCS technology providers. The scale-up of the process to
20 MWth based on the operation of the 1 MWth pilot plant is considered as a further milestone with regard to a large

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 6151 16-76998; fax: +49 6151 16-5685.
E-mail address:

including fuel and limestone feeder. a techno-ecomomic evaluation regarding the application of the CL process to power plants as well as cement and steel plants is performed. and flue gas treatment. reactor design and operating conditions on the performance. concentration. loop seals) • Integration of an automated limestone supply system Four pilot test campaigns of 4 weeks each are scheduled from 2015 to 2016 to determine long-term effects of fuel. temperature. O2 Cyclone Air Cyclone Coal FGD Carbonator T = 650 °C Calciner T = 900 °C Make-up Fluidised bed Fluidised bed CaCO3 Coal Air Fan Flue gas recirculation Coal Combustor CaCO3 Filter CaO Preheating Preheating Ash Fan (optional) Steam (optional) Flue gas Steam Fan CO2 SO2 CO2 N2 O2 Figure 1: Scheme of upgraded 1 MWth CL pilot plant at TU Darmstadt One aim of the project is to bring the 1 MWth plant configuration as close as possible to the set-up of an industrial plant. 3. The calciner was fired with pulverized hard coal and fluidized with oxygen enriched air ensuring complete combustion of the coal.2 scale application of the CL technology. pressure. Decarbonised Stack flue gas CO2 + H2O Stack Filter Filter ID Fan Heat exchanger Heat ID Fan Gas analysis exchanger Fly ash CO. CO2.-% at the carbonator inlet. flue gas composition. concentrations of CO2 and steam in the flue gas. reactor temperatures. make-up flow. During a period of 30 hours CO2 was captured from a synthetic flue gas with a CO2 concentration of 12 Vol. Hard coal and lignite are used as fuel in varying particle sizes. solids loading and velocity at numerous locations guarantee a comprehensive data base for the documentation of plant operation and validation of scale-up tools. refractory lined circulating fluidized bed (CFB) reactors and is provided with all the conventional components of a typical industrial CFB combustor.g. The heat release of the carbonation reaction can be extracted directly from the carbonator bed by means of axial internal cooling tubes. . solids circulation. Fly ash NO. The following adaptions for improving and extending the operability have been made to reach this aim: • Upgrade of thermal capacity to allow increased carbonator velocities similar to full-scale CFB plants • Integration of a flue gas recirculation for the calciner to realize oxy-fuel combustion • Cone valves for controlling the flow of solids between the two CFB reactors • Coal supply systems for crushed hard coal and for lignite • Equipment for SO2 and steam addition • Improved design of reactors and components (e.e. Particular focus is on the long-term behavior of the sorbent reactivity under different operating parameters. Finally. i. The feasibility of the CL process was proven by CO2 absorption rates over 80% in the carbonator and an overall CO2 capture rate over 92 % including the CO2 produced in the calciner [1]. Pilot testing in 1 MWth scale The 1 MWth plant illustrated in Figure 1 consists of two interconnected. so that the CL process can be demonstrated under real conditions. The entrained solid particles are removed from flue gases in bag filters. sorbent. Measurements of flow rates. A previous test campaign of the pilot plant showed promising results for the CL process. The flue gases are cooled down by means of two-pass heat exchangers. SO2.

various CFD models are used to design the two fluidized bed reactors and their auxiliaries. Model development Two types of models are deployed to design a 20 MWth CL pilot plant. B. Carbonate looping process simulation using a 1D fluidized bed model for the carbonator. B. Junk. Alobaid. J. A base case using experimental data of the 1 MWth pilot plant was set up to evaluate the performance of CFD models. Kozołub. 5 (2011) 686-693. J. Modeling oxy-fuel combustion in a 3D circulating fluidized bed using the hybrid Euler–Lagrange approach. Figure 2 illustrates the computed velocity and pressure fields of the carbonator as well as a comparison of computed and measured pressure along the reactor height. In this approach.A. Czakiert. Galloy. Ströhle. Int. Lasheras. Jochen Hilz et al.P.g. Acknowledgements The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n°608578 (SCARLET). T. Extended CFD/DEM model for the simulation of circulating fluidized bed. Epple. . 71 (2014) 266-275. The collision forces between parcels take into account the total mass and volume of their represented particles. one parcel represents several thousands of particles. / Energy Procedia 00 (2015) 000–000 3 4. M. A. 127 (2014) 13-22. Advanced Powder Technology. B. G. A. J. combustion reactions are being implemented in the numerical model in order to investigate the influence of energy release and mass exchange between the two interacting phases. 5 Simulation 4 Experiment Reactor height [m] 3 2 1 0 0 25 50 75 100 Pressure [mbar] Figure 2: Simulation results of 1 MWth carbonator with DDPM approach for velocity and pressure distribution 5. R. Applied Thermal Engineering. a steady-state process model including empirical 1D reactor models for determining the heat and mass balance is being developed using ASPEN PLUSTM software [2]. Węcel. [2] A. Epple. Adamczyk. Klimanek. Ströhle. Ströhle. A. [4] W. Greenhouse Gas Control. On the other hand. Białecki. References [1] J. A simplification is made in order to simulate a system with millions of particles. Currently. The decreasing pressure profile along the reactor height shows a good agreement with the experimental data. P. Galloy. Kremer. Epple. [3] F. loop seals and cone valves. e. 24 (2013) 403-415. The dense discrete particle model (DDPM) [4] for dense particle systems was used to calculate the flow field and the interactions within one phase and between the phases using ANSYS FLUENTTM software. An in-house CFD Euler-Lagrange code of TU Darmstadt considering particle/particle interaction by means of the discrete element method (DEM) that is particularly suited for the simulation of dense gas/particle flows [3] is used to study dedicated components. On the one hand. Fuel. Carbonate looping experiments in a 1 MWth pilot plant and model validation. J. A discrete particle model considering particle/particle interaction by means of stochastic collision detection using the BARRACUDATM software is applied by Alstom to study the CFB reactors individually.