RWE energy 2There is one company outside of US which is actively exploring algae fuels. This German-based company is working on some innovative approaches for carbon capture and storage. The algae based project is one of them.
RWE energy is a leading energy giant in Germany. RWE Power operates the Coal Innovation Centre at its Niederaussem power plant site. It has made this the centre of its activities for environmentally friendly power generation from coal.
The company tries six different options for clean coal.
1. ADECOS project - Advanced Development of the Coal-fired Oxyfuel Process with CO2 Separation
2. CO2 storage - For the environmentally friendly power station planned by RWE, CO2 storage in former gas deposits, but also in deep geological formations is being developed .
3. IGCC/CCS power plant ? In this power plant, the gasification of lignite is combined with carbon capture, and electricity is generated in downstream gas and steam turbines. To this end, coal is first converted into a combustible crude gas in a gasifier at high temperatures and a pressure of approximately 35 bar. The gas, which consists mainly of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2), is purified and the carbon monoxide converted into CO2 and more H2 in the CO shift. Following desulphurization, the CO2 is captured, compressed and transported to a storage site.
4. CO2 scrubbing ? RWE energy collaborates with BASF and Linde to develop CO2 scrubbing technology. A new CO2 solvent developed by BASF and optimized capture plant technology developed by Linde form the basis of the optimized CO2 scrubbing technology. The use of the CO2 scrubbing technology to be developed will permit 90% of CO2 of the flue gas in the new power plants to be captured and either utilized to make other products or stored underground.
5. CO2 as raw material for new products - RWE Power collaborates with BRAIN AG from Zwingenberg to design more effective micro-organisms. These microorganisms, in turn, can provide a source of new product and material developments from CO2.
6. RWE Algae Project - The world's most progressive algae growing plant for CO2 conversion was commissioned on 6 November 2008 at Niederaussem, Germany.
The uniqueness of RWE energy?s algae project is that it uses bubble reactor and marine algae for carbon capture. This pilot plant comprises 1000 sq km area of photobioreactor. The plant is expected to produce 6 tonnes of algal biomass per year with the CO2 capture potential of 12 tonnes per year. The company is considering hydrothermal carbonization, fermentation and biogas production as a conversion route for the produced algal biomass.
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