Linking large-scale, cost-effective, permanent offshore CO2 storage across the CCS value chain

Wärtsilä has built a complete carbon capture system in record time. Image: Wärtsila

Full steam ahead! LINCCS partner establishes world-class CCS research centre

Wärtsilä, one of the LINCCS partners, has established a world-class research centre for maritime carbon capture and storage (CCS) in record time in Moss, Norway. The test facility enables Wärtsilä to mimic a ship installation with engines and various abatement equipment, such as a sulphur oxide (SOx) scrubber, nitrogen oxide (NOx) selective catalytic reducers, and particulate matter filters. Together, this creates a unique setting for developing technological solutions that enable a more sustainable maritime industry.

Principle

The Wärtsilä R&D Carbon Capture Plant is being built in two modules. The first module demonstrates CO2 absorption by chemical solvents, while the second module includes the liquefaction and storage of the captured CO2.

From a ship integration standpoint, solvent-based CO2 capture is the more mature CCS technology, as it is a fully scalable solution and integrates perfectly with Wärtsilä’s modular exhaust abatement solutions.

Measuring the CO2 content in the solvent. Image: Wärtsilä

Design

Our test unit is designed to capture around 60-70% of the CO2 from marine engine exhaust gas. Wärtsilä has already identified a potential to further increase this capture rate within the existing design envelope. Going forward, the testing and development will focus on optimising the capture process and system design, as well as evaluating alternative, more energy-efficient non-proprietary solvents.

As opposed to traditional land-based CCS systems, ships operate in real weather, on real seas, and – typically – around the world. Therefore, the process will be subject to a vessel’s motion and cannot be regarded as a steady-state process.

A maritime CCS system needs to be very robust and able to operate under varying engine loads and transient conditions. Considering that the fuel qualities vary around the world, the pre-treatment also plays a vital role in ensuring the efficacy and efficiency of the CCS plant.

The solvent-based carbon capture technology integrates with Wärtsilä’s existing and well-proven scrubber system. Image: Wärtsilä

Configurations

Wärtsilä’s emissions abatement modularity enables CCS to be integrated into different vessel configurations, either combined with other abatement technologies or as a standalone module.

The first full-scale pilot installation will take place in 2023, and two additional full-scale pilots are being considered for 2024.

Wärtsilä expects to have commercially viable solutions for both new build and retrofit ships ready in two years. Image: Wärtsilä

Cooperation

The LINCCS platform has already created a series of opportunities for the project partners to exploit technologies and share competence across the CCS value chain. As a sustainable technology hub, the CCS test facility has also been made available to sub-suppliers for testing equipment, instruments or chemical solvents.

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