New test campaign at Technology Centre Mongstad

Jun 19 2017

A new test campaign named MEA-3 has started at TCM containing a number of sub-projects focusing on CO2 capture, emissions to air and model predictive controlled operations.

The sub-project on model predictive control (MPC) (also known as modern or advanced process control) is a CLIMIT Demo project with Cybernetica, Sintef and NTNU. Test activities for this sub-project started on June 12th.

 "TCM has long worked to reduce the cost of carbon capture. This project will contribute further to this, by automating more of the operations," said Managing director Roy Vardheim.

Plant automation is based on model predictive control, commonly used in other industries such as oil refining and petrochemicals. MPC is an overarching control system that can read plant data and calculate the optimum set point to several regulators simultaneously. The MPC technology to be used in this project was developed by Cybernetica. 

NTNU,SINTEF and Cybernetica will assist with the practical implementation at Tiller and TCM. The dynamic process model that becomes part of the tool has been developed in the doctoral thesis of Nina Enaasen Flø now working for TCM.

With this tool one can move faster from one test run to another, have more effective test campaigns, more efficient operations and thereby reduce energy consumption by 3-5 percent. The tool compares estimates from the model with actual process measurements in the plant and make corrections if necessary. Especially when changing parameters it is much to gain from automation.

The project represents a continuation of the good working relationship between TCM and CCS environment in Trondheim. Prior to the TCM test,  the tool was tested in SINTEF's pilot plant at Tiller in Trondheim. Hanne Kvamsdal from Sintef is prosject leader for DOCPCC. 

Some of the most influential players in the carbon capture community; SINTEF, NTNU, Engie, Road, Uniper, TNO and TCM are collaborating in the second CLIMIT Demo sub-project named Aerosolve. The project connects SINTEF's Tiller facility, TCM and the full-scale ROAD project and will develop understanding and solutions directly applicable at industrial scale. 

One of the most important research topics in post combustion CO2 capture is to control the emissions of amine and amine degradation products to the atmosphere. Aerosol-related emissions to air from amine absorbers for CO2 capture is a topic of increasing interest and concern.

It is commonly known that flue gas pre-treatment, absorber configuration, operating conditions and solvent selection are factors that can minimize these emissions, but there is currently limited theoretical and experimental understanding of the physical/chemical mechanisms involved in the process and certainly insufficient knowledge to allow the techno-economic optimization of aerosol control at industrial scale.

There are also contradictory results reported in literature as to e.g. effect of various pre-treatment options. Establishment of reliable continuous measurement methodology for absorber aerosols and online process monitoring is needed in order to increase the availability of high quality data, underpin model validation, assess the effectiveness of abatement options, such as the use of wet electrostatic precipitators and Brownian diffusion filter techniques, and ultimately deliver reliable process monitoring and control.

Validated theoretical models and generic tools for flue gas pre-treatment design will be important tools for future process optimization of design. Therefore, it is of importance to demonstrate suitable treatment options under real and relevant conditions. This work will lead to the insights how to develop and operate CO2 capture plants with emission levels within the given emission permits.

The MEA campaign will run until December 2017, and most of the results will be openly available.

Technology Centre Mongstad

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