Innovation: Carbon-Free Electricity By Sewgs: Advanced Materials, Reactor And Process Design

Last update: 29.06.2013
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pre combustion, energy saving, chemical engineering, electricity generation, solid state reactors, gaseous fuels, power generation, cost reduction, industrial manufacture, environmental economics, conservation, co2 capture, other energy topics, energy efficiency, economic aspects
The proposed project CAESAR is building on work currently performed with the FP6 IP CACHET. One of the four pre-combustion CO2 capture technologies that are being developed in CACHET is the Sorption Enhanced Water Gas Shift (SEWGS) process. The SEWGS process produces hot, high pressure H2 in a catalytic CO shift reactor with simultaneous adsorption of CO2 on a high temperature adsorbent. The system operates in a cyclic manner with steam for adsorbent regeneration.

The overall objective of proposed project CAESAR is the reduction of energy penalty and costs of the SEWGS CO2 capture process through optimization of sorbent materials, reactor- and process design. It is emphasized that with an optimized SEWGS process CO2 avoidance cost could be reduced to < 15/ton CO2. CAESAR takes into account the lessons learned in CACHET in order to bring the SEWGS process a big step closer to the market. To achieve this, CAESAR takes a necessary step back such that novel, more efficient CO2 sorbents with regeneration steam/CO2 ratios less 2 will be developed.

This value is needed to bring the CO2 avoidance costs to about 15/ton. Heat integration and the use of sorbent coatings can further enhance the efficiency. CAESAR will focus on the application of the optimized SEWGS process for pre combustion CO2 capture from natural gas. However the scope of application of SEWGS will be broadened to application in coal gas and industrial processes. A design for a pilot unit will be delivered for these applications. There is a clear delimitation between CACHET and CAESAR.

The emphasis in CACHET was placed on demonstrating the SEWGS process on a larger scale in a continuous, multi-bed SEWGS process demonstrator. CAESAR goes one step further in taking boundary conditions as to cost and efficiency into account. This urges for better sorbents, reactor and process design.

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CAESAR: Carbon-free electricity production by SEWGS(sorption enhanced water gas shift): Advanced materials, reactor and process design

The FP7 CAESAR project aims to improve the energy efficiency and the economics of the SEWGS CO2 capture process through development and optimisation of sorbent materials, SEWGS reactor design, process design and integration in a natural gas fuelled power plant. The use of the SEWGS process for CO2 capture in IGCC power plants will also be investigated. Confidence in the SEWGS process has been gained in the EU FP6 project CACHET by the proof-of-principle of the process on a bench scale. In the first 18 month the CAESAR activities are focusing on sorbent development and application assessments for the SEWGS process.

CAESAR builds on the SEWGS development of the FP6 integrated project CACHET. The emphasis in CACHET was placed on demonstrating the SEWGS process on a larger scale and building a continuous, multi-bed SEWGS process demonstrator.

Most of the man months and funds in CACHET went into the construction of the single-column test unit, long term sorbent testing in the single column, and process demonstration in the multi-column test unit. CAESAR uses both these test rigs in order to bring the SEWGS process a big step closer to the market.

Specific CAESAR targets:

- to optimise the SEWGS process for pre-combustion CO2 capture from natural gas;
- to broaden the scope of the SEWGS process to application in coal gas and industrial processes;
- to design a pilot unit for the new applications that will be designed to operate in a slip stream of a commercial plant.

Project Partners:

- Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) - NL
- Air Products PLC - UK
- BP Exploration operating company, Ltd. - UK
- Politecnico di Milano - It

Head line results% SEWGS is a concept for pre-combustion CO2 capture in which the water-gas-shift and the CO2 separation steps are integrated. The removal of the CO2 produced in the WGS reaction allows increasing the CO conversion enhancing the CO2 capture ratio up to 98%. SEWGS consists of fixed bed that adsorbs CO2 at high temperature and pressure, and releases it at low pressure. Critical parameter of the SEWGS process is the sorbent capacity because it determines the amount of flow necessary for rinse and purge steps and the reactor size.

Goals in the CAESAR project are to increase the cyclic capacity, reduce the amount of steam needed for regeneration, and increase the mechanical strength of the sorbent pellets.

Key was to develop a sorbent that does not form MgCO3 under the relevant process conditions. This was achieved in Year 1. The new sorbent material has been developed and tested under realistic process conditions in a single-column experimental rig of 2 m length. It was demonstrated that this sorbent has much higher crush strength than the material used in the CACHET project, sufficient to remain mechanically stable during operation of at least thousands of cycles. Also, it was shown that the novel material does not form MgCO3. Due to the absence of this slow process, cyclic steady state is reached rapidly and steam consumption can be reduced. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the cyclic capacity of this material is higher than that of the sorbent used in the CACHET project, and that it needs substantially less steam is required for its regeneration. A long-term test shows that the sorbent material is stable over a large amount of adsorption - desorption cycles. With this new
material, equally high carbon capture levels can be obtained - typically exceeding 95% - at significantly better efficiencies and at significantly lower costs.

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Carbon-Free Electricity By Sewgs: Advanced Materials, Reactor And Process Design


01.01.2008 to 31.12.2011

completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.



Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Ms. SPAAN-HAGENAAR Tanja


Phone: +31-2245-64121



(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. WHITE Vincent


Phone: +44-1932249948



(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. BEAVIS Richard


Phone: +44-01932767737




Contact person: Ms. CAMBIAGHI Matilde

Phone: +39-0223993827




Contact person: Dr. BREDESEN Rune


Phone: +47-93811279