Research into low pressure CO2 transport for carbon capture and storage

The research efforts examine the technologies to economically transport large amounts of CO2 (file photo of the Wartisla concept ship)

Published 23 Dec 2021 7:50 PM by

The maritime executive

A new project is currently underway to investigate the use of low-pressure solutions as a means of increasing capacities and reducing transport costs of captured CO2 to offshore storage facilities. Carbon capture and storage is seen as a critical part of the long-term solution in efforts to decarbonise emissions and meet the climate goals outlined in Paris and Glasgow.

Leading energy companies, Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies, will work with Norwegian pipeline operator Gassco and classification society DNV to study the challenges of CO2 transportation. Several projects are exploring the possibilities of using ships as a critical link in the CCS programs currently under development. This partnership aims to use their shared experience to develop an industrial-scale shipping solution. They believe that low-pressure transport systems (approx. 7 bar at -49 ° C) compared to current medium-pressure technology (15 bar at -28 ° C) could offer the possibility of reducing CO2 transport to the extent required for commercial operation to expand.

“As an important part of combating the climate crisis, reducing costs along the entire CCS value chain is essential,” said Johan Petter Tutturen, VP, Special Projects – Gas at DNV. “Low pressure CO2 ship designs are a potentially important link in the chain, but they have to be reliable and meet accepted safety standards. For this reason, we are very excited to be working with this strong consortium of CCS stakeholders to identify the technical risks and challenges to enable safe and economical operation in the future. “

In order to transport CO2 safely and efficiently by ship on an industrial scale, the joint industrial project sees low-pressure transport systems as a possible solution that would enable significantly larger tank volumes, loading capacities and thus lower transport costs. However, they note that the industry currently has little practical experience with the transport of liquid CO2 (LCO2) under these conditions.

The aim of the project is to gain experience in low pressure transport by examining the basics of a low pressure CO2 transport chain. They plan to test LCO2 behavior at low pressure as well as study the elements of ship design with low pressure tanks and handling systems. You will research the material selection and testing required for the development of the systems, as well as conditioning and liquefaction.

“It is critical that we can move CO2 safely, economically, and on a large scale,” said Syrie Crouch, VP Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage at Shell. “The key to success will be to ensure that these CO2 transport ships and the associated loading and unloading facilities are standardized to enable networking between capture and storage facilities.”

The project is funded by the Norwegian CLIMIT program for research, development and demonstration of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS). They anticipate that research into low pressure solutions will be completed in 2023.

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