In Italy, after several years of research on chemical absorption applied to carbon capture, Enel developed a post-combustion demonstration project, aiming to assess the feasibility of the carbon capture and storage process on an industrial scale as well as to increase our know how on each individual aspect of the process.
The Porto Tolle project is part of a wider programme aimed at large-scale application of post-combustion. This technology applies chemical absorption to remove the CO2 contained in flue gases from power plants. Enel is exploring all possible options to capture as much CO2 as possible from its fossil-fuel facilities. Among such options, this technology appears as the most promising and advanced, and offers retrofitting solutions for existing facilities.
In this context, Enel has completed a pilot capture station at a coal-fuelled plant in Brindisi, in southern Italy, where the technology can be tested on a significant scale. The facility can capture about 2.5 t/h of CO2 and will help develop the Porto Tolle demonstration plant.
The pilot plant can treat a flow of flue gases of 10,000 Nm3/h, equivalent to 30% of flue gases that are emitted from a unit of 660 MWe group, producing about 1 Mt/y of CO2, which will be transported to the storage site and injected into underground reservoirs.
This project, besides fully demonstrating this technology on an industrial scale, so as to provide a commercial solution for new installations after 2020, is used to test the possibility of retrofitting highly efficient coal-fired groups.
This experience will benefit the entire area of southern Europe where geological storage is possible, mainly in deep saline aquifers.