Aims

Mission

The mission of ECCSEL is opening access for researchers to a top quality European research infrastructure devoted to second and third generation CCS technologies in an efficient and structured way to help enabling low to zero CO2 emissions from industry and power generation to combat global climate change.

The ECCSEL consortium teams up selected Centres of Excellence on Carbon Capture and Storage research (CCS) from 9 countries across Europe. The mission is to implement and operate a European distributed, integrated Research Infrastructure (RI) initially based on a selection of the best research facilities in Europe for  CO2 capture, storage and transport research. A number of those facilities are planned to be upgraded in the future and later new facilities are planned to be constructed in order to:

  • Provide a scientific foundation to respond systematically to the urgent R&D needs in CCS at a Pan-European level, in a short and long term perspective
  • Maintain Europe at the forefront of the international CCS scientific community
  • Make the European Research Area more attractive for both European and international scientists, reinforce cooperative connections between research institutions and attain greater insight into the social and economic impact of European science.
  • Optimize the value of the European Communities financial support through better utilisation of new and existing research infrastructure

The consortium aims to establish ECCSEL as a robust and sustainable legally independent entity. The ambition is to become a key instrument that the European Commission can utilisze and support to meet the objectives of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), and to interact with relevant bodies such as European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), the ZEP-TP, Lighthouse projects, EII and others.

ECCSEL aims to facilitate projects in the European Commission’s Framework programmes, future European industrial initiatives, and education of specialists for the new CCS industry.

Project foundations

Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) is identified as a future key technology for reducing emissions from fossil fuels used for power generation as well as from industrial processes. Global demand is large, in particular from emerging economies. However, further research and technological development is urgently needed if CCS is to become a viable and cost-effective technology.

ECCSEL, short for European Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure, was proposed by NTNU and SINTEF on behalf of the Norwegian Government, and put on the official European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) updated Roadmap in 2008 as the only new entrant within the energy theme.

ECCSEL is currently in the implemantation phase and is expected to be in operation in 2015 as a strong and coordinated pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure (RI) within the field of CCS.

 

Facilities

Development of new CCS research facilities as well as upgrades to existing ones have been proposed, and will require large investments by the parties involved. The involvement of national funding bodies and authorities will be specially important and unique for ECCSEL.

The facilities being developed will enable more advanced levels of research in capture, transport and storage of CO2. Some examples of existing facilities that have been initially selected be a part of the ECCSEL Research Infrastructure are:

  • CO2 capture and transport test facility at Tiller (SINTEF/NTNU, Norway)
  • Sotacarbo Research Center - Coal to Hydrogen Generation pilot plant with CO2 capture (Sotacarbo, Italy)
  • High pressure absorber and desorber pilot plant (TNO, Netherlands)
  • Mini plant for solvent preparation & testing (TNO, Netherlands)
  • Hontomín CO2 Storage Technology Development Plant (CIUDEN, Spain)
  • Centre for CO2 Capture in Cubillos del Sil, León (CIUDEN, Spain)
  • High pressure oxy-fuel combustion test rig (SINTEF, Norway)
  • Chemical Looping Combustion facility (CERTH, Greece)
  • Rock Mechanical & Geophysical Property (S&P-wave) Testing System (BGS, UK)
  • Near surface gas monitoring facility (BGS, UK)
  • High pressure hydrostatic flow cell to measure permeability of asmples (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • BIOREP facility to perform percolation and transfer experiments on fluid-rock interactions under a large range of pressure and temperature conditions (BRGM, France)
  • PANAREA (off-shore) and LATERA (on-shore) CO2 leaking natural laboratories (OGS, Italy)
  • Fixed bed reactor for studies of clean coal technologies and pilot-scale moving bed reactor (GIG, Poland)
  • Broad range of Laboratory facilities for fundamental R&D
  • Laboratory facilities for fundamental R&D

What is CCS?

Carbon abatement technologies (CATs) offer options for using fossil fuels during the transition to a low carbon energy system. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the most innovative of these but also offers the potential for the deepest cuts in CO2 emissions. It involves the deployment of a chain of technologies for CO2 capture, transportation and storage, rather than developments focused on the combustion plant alone. Most of the technologies needed to implement CCS are currently available through other applications but there is an urgent need to validate the operation of the whole CCS technology chain and to reduce the cost of CCS.

CCS has the potential to be an essential technology to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow the continued use of fossil fuels for energy security, without damaging climate security.(NZEC 2011)