RWE, BASF and Linde develop capture of CO2 in coal fired power plants

RWE Power, Germany's biggest electricity producer yesterday said that it has made a breakthrough in separating carbon dioxide (CO2), from flue gas in coal fired power plants that will reduce carbon emission, which is key to climate-compatible coal-based power generation.

Compared to processes commonly used in coal fired power plants, the innovative technology captures CO2, a greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, by means of new chemical solvents can reduce energy input by about 20 per cent.

The new solvents also feature clearly superior oxygen stability, which reduces solvent consumption significantly, said the three German companies in a statement.

Three German companies, RWE Power along with BASF and Linde AG have been testing a new technology since 2009 for separating CO2 from flue gas in a pilot plant at RWE's Niederaussem power station near Cologne.

The results of the practical test, which are now available, reveals that the innovative technology that captures CO2 by means of new chemical solvents that can reduce carbon emission as well as reduce energy input by about 20 per cent.

The new solvents also feature clearly superior oxygen stability, which reduces solvent consumption significantly.

The three companies started up the pilot plant in August 2009 as part of the Coal Innovation Centre of RWE Power. BASF is testing the newly developed carbon capture process based on improved solvents in the course of this cooperation announced in 2007. Linde was responsible for pilot plant engineering and construction.

Now all three companies are working on solutions for demonstration and large-scale power plants with the first one scheduled in 2015, and expect CO2 capture to be used commercially in coal-fired power stations by 2020.