Innovation to drive cuts in CCS costs

The fourth in the Institute’s series of profiles from around the world is contributed by Millennium Generation (MGL) Project, which was one of the winners of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change’s competition for innovative projects. 13 projects will benefit from the £20 million investment to reduce the cost of CCS as part of the UK’s £125 million research and development fund

The winners of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change's £20 million competition for innovative projects to reduce the cost of CCS development were announced in November.  

The winners included the Millennium Generation (MGL) Project—a joint venture between Calix Europe, HEL East and Imperial College—to build a 3MWe carbon capture pilot plant in Hatfield, Doncaster, using Calix’s Endex capture technology (£5.8 million grant).

The project’s objective is to demonstrate significant capture cost reductions in the total CCS chain cost. This demonstration of carbon capture from a natural gas-fired power plant is pertinent because of the increasing supply of natural gas worldwide, and the increasing deployment of gas turbine power plants. In the long-term, emissions from these plants will have to be reduced, and this project demonstrates how that can be done cost effectively.

The project uses Calix’s Endex Reactor technology to capture carbon from gas turbine fuel gas at high pressure and temperature using solids looping. The sorbent is finely powdered lime, the waste product is useable lime powder. Calix in Australia is building a commercial-scale calcination plant designed to capture CO2 from the calcination of minerals. The same technology platform, previously demonstrated on a pilot scale, will be deployed for the commercial-scale Australian plant, as well as the UK demonstration plant. 

Mark Sceats, Chief Scientist of Calix said: “This project is a major milestone for Calix. Our long-term focus has been to develop a flexible low-emissions minerals processing technology that can be deployed to make high performance building materials, fertilisers and nanopowders on a commercial scale. The application to low-emissions power production is an important step, which demonstrates the flexibility of the core technology. CCS is the thread that links all these industrial applications.”   

Brian Sweeney of Calix Europe said: “Calix is very pleased to have a significant demonstration unit in the UK, one of the world’s leading CCS countries. We see this as the launch pad for a major European business in the medium-term.”

 

Millennium Generation Limited is a joint venture set up to undertake this demonstration and then to commercialise the technology.

Calix Europe Ltd – Calix Europe Ltd is a subsidiary of Calix Limited.

Calix is a technology company that sells and licenses calciners, calcined mineral powders, and carbon capture-based power production systems. Calix is also a service provider capable of managing and operating the turnkey calciners. Calix is exploiting a propriety minerals processing technology internationally. The core Calix technology is a Catalytic Flash Calcination (CFC) Reactor that can heat a mineral in seconds to change its chemical properties. The resulting minerals have a range of applications worldwide. The company is commercialising this technology in several fields, including the calcination of carbonaceous materials and power generation. Calix is currently constructing an AU$30 million Calix Flash Calciner at its Bacchus Marsh site outside Melbourne.

HEL-East Limited – HEL engineers assist clients in understanding, managing and exploiting their renewable and unconventional resources to maximum commercial and environmental benefit. They provide technical due diligence services to investors in clean energy, infrastructure and carbon projects worldwide. Their Project Team is able to provide consultancy services for Project Technical Due Diligence, Technical Risk Assessment, Engineering Design Services, Project Management, Safety Management, and Technology Development. HEL-East is a shareholder in MGL. 

Imperial College – The Energy Engineering and CCS Group at IC has an extensive track record in the fields of gasification, pyrolysis and combustion, using coal, biomass and waste fuels (more than 25 completed since 1993). The CO2 capture group is part of the EU Caoling project, and also well represented in the broader field of CO2 capture, with projects involving the optimisation of solvents for both CO2 capture and oxyfuel combustion.