The US Department of Energy has awarded German-based gases and engineering company the Linde Group a $15 million grant for the advancement of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies. Linde’s pilot plant, to be built in Wilsonville, is scheduled to be operational by early 2014. The facility will test novel CO2 scrubbing solutions to reduce the energy consumption and costs of advanced carbon capture and separation systems for coal-fired power plants.
The pilot plant will be designed to capture at least 90% of the CO2 generated at an increase in the cost of electricity of no more than 35%. This would represent a significant improvement over existing technologies that can add as much as 80% to the cost of electricity.
The new plant will build on the extensive experience Linde gained in a comparable project in Niederaussem, Germany. Here, since 2009, the company successfully tests new CO2 scrubbing solvents in collaboration with electricity supplier RWE and chemicals company BASF. Post-combustion capture technologies like this one offer great near-term potential for reducing CO2 emissions because it can be added to existing power plants.
“Advanced CO2 capture for power plants is a critical element in achieving global greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” says Dr Andreas Opfermann, head of Linde’s Clean Energy and Innovation Management unit. “As a leader in this field, we are extremely proud that the DoE recognises our R&D efforts in this area, as especially in North America we see a growing need for efficient ‘clean coal’ solutions. The DoE award will therefore help strengthen Linde’s position in this future-oriented sector in the US.”
The Linde Group employs around 49,100 people in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year, it achieved sales of Eur12.9 billion.