Metso and Fortum to Explore Oxyfuel Combustion Technology

May 11, 2009 - Metso said that it has joined forces with Finnish power company Fortum to explore oxyfuel combustion technology, which is part of a technical concept that enables carbon capture in power and heat generation.

The three-year R&D project is partly funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Metso said.

The goal of the project is to determine how oxyfuel combustion technology could be implemented in an industrial-sized power plant using circulating fluidized bed technology. A key feature of such boilers is that they can be operated on a wide selection of fuels, like coal and biomass separately or together as any mixture, Metso said.

"Comprehensive testing will be carried out during 2010, and the results can be utilized both for modernization purposes and for the design of new power plants to create preconditions for the CO2 capture in the future," said Kari Kuukkanen, general manager, Technology at Metso.

"Oxyfuel combustion at power plants using circulating fluidized bed technology is a promising method for reducing CO2 emissions. During the research, Metso's 4-MW test plant in Tampere, Finland will be modified for oxyfuel combustion," Kuukkanen said.

In the oxyfuel combustion process fuel is combusted with pure oxygen diluted with recirculated flue gas instead of air. In such case, after the cleaning the flue gas would consist mainly of CO2 and water vapor. After removal of the water vapor, CO2-gas is ready to be pressurized at the power plant, transported and stored, Metso explained.

"This project is an important part of Fortum's long-term R&D activities because the technology can be applied not only in coal-fired energy production but also in power plants using biomass as fuel," said Marja Englund, manager of the project at Fortum.."Applying CCS to biomass-fired plants would create a carbon sink."


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