Castellano (España)English (U.K.)

Forecasts of world energy demand show an unequivocal upwards trend in practically all sources in the short to medium term (2050). The use of fossil fuels and specifically coal will be indispensable for electricity generation. The possibilities for mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions proposed by the IPCC and International Energy Agency include CO2 capture and storage (CCS), which has as much potential as the other two better known possibilities, renewable energy and improvement in energy efficiency. The latter two will not be enough to reduce GHG emissions because of the expected growth of developing countries, especially in Asia. In Europe, CCS and low-carbon technologies are being stimulated by the SET (Strategic Energy Technology) Plan.

ELCOGAS is working following the SET Plan and with its pilot CO2 capture plant has become the first IGCC plant in the world to be able to demonstrate the potential of pre-combustion technology for CO2 capture. In addition, with pre-combustion technology, it is going to show the feasibility of CO2 capture together with hydrogen and electricity production. This will allow IGCC technology to move to the forefront of clean coal technologies.

The project main objectives are INDUSTRIAL-SCALE VALIDATION, while also examining other possibilities on a laboratory scale, of CO2 pre-combustion capture technology with H2 production in an IGCC plant and TO OBTAIN ENOUGH ECONOMIC DATA to be able to scale up to the full syngas production capacity of the Puertollano IGCC plant.

The University of Castile-La Mancha and Spanish research institutions INCAR-CSIC and CIEMAT are also involved in this project, part of the Spanish initiative "Advanced technology for CO2 conversion, capture and storage" funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the regional government of Castile-La Mancha, which includes other related projects:

  • Project #2 Analysis of CO2 capture using oxy-combustion technology. Coordinated by CIUDEN
  • Project #3 Study and regulation of of CO2 geological storage in Spain. Developed by IGME
  • Project #4 Public awareness of CO2 capture and storage technologies. Coordinator CIEMAT

The pilot plant is integrated in the IGCC plant treats 3,600 Nm3/h of slip-stream of the syngas. The process consists of a shift unit to turn CO into CO2, a CO2 separation unit based on absorption using amines, and an H2 purification unit (PSA), all being commercial processes. The auxiliary systems and all the control are integrated in the existing IGCC. In addition, acid and sweet catalysts have been tested to obtain information on large-scale technical and economic performance and the costs of capture of CO2 of different purity degrees.

The main knowledge obtained from the project is the overall efficiency improvement in integrating commercial chemical processes in an existing IGCC co-producing electricity.

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    Start of the civil engineering works

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    End of the civil engineering works

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    PSA assembly

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    PSA assembly

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    Amine unit assembly

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    Amine unit assembly

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    Amine unit assembly

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    Shifting unit assembly

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    Shifting unit assembly

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    Shifting unit assembly

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    Shifting unit assembly

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    Electricity panels assembly

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    Electricity panels assembly

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    HVAC installation

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    DCS installation

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    Loading CO2 in stripper

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    Loading reactors

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    ATEX signalling

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    Control room

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    Pilot plant in operation