DeFACTO - Demonstration of Flow Assurance for CO2 Transport

Facility Location
City & country
Trondheim (Norway)
Sem Sælands vei 11, 7034
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
SINTEF ER - SINTEF Energy Research
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
Francesco Finotti
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Sigurd W. Løvseth; Morten Grønli
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Expected duration of single experiment:
4 weeks
Operational or other constraints
Specific risks:
Ethanol circuit, flammable. Possibility for leaks and exposure to CO2.
Legal issues

DeFACTO will enable and improve large-scale CO2 transport and injection by enhancing understanding of CO2 pipes and injection wells.

DeFACTO is a vertical flow facility that enables the circulation of CO2 through a 90 meters deep U-tube loop (depicted in the figure). The loop is instrumented with over 100 high precision-fast response pressure and temperature sensors, allowing to measure pressure waves with a high degree of accuracy.

The vertical flow loop is connected to a 139 meters long horizontal flow loop, located on top of the facility. The horizontal flow loop enables circulation of CO2 with precisely controlled parameters (contaminants, temperature, pressure, gas to liquid ratio).

The CO2 is then circulated through the vertical loop where its behaviour can be analysed at different depths. Each tube in the U-loop can be isolated and pressurised or depressurised individually.

The data collected help understanding when and how the CO2 freezes under depressurisation, cavitation phenomena, two-phase and transient flow behaviour, and ultimately assist engineers in the design of safer and more efficient CO2 transport and storage systems. 

Experiments that can be performed through DeFACTO both with pure CO2 and with impurities (N2, up to 20% CH4).

- Areas of research normally supported by the facility include CO2 transport and injection, characterisation of phase behaviour of CO2 with impurities in a vertical well, CO2 flow and expansion.

Experiments conducted by the facility include:

  • Accurate estimation of heat transfer coefficient under controlled conditions.
  • Both single- and two-phase flow. 
  • Steady state flow at different T/P conditions and gas to liquid ratios.
  • Transient, 
    •     Shut in and first fill.
    •     Depressurisations.
    •     Blowouts.
    •     Fluid hammers.
  • Reservoir backflow.



  • U tube largest ID, 32 mm smallest ID, 16 mm 
  • Pressure, FV to 160 bar 
  • CO2 process temperature, -60 to +60 C 
  • Controlled temperature in hole, 5 to 35 C 
  • Design flow, 10 kg/min (0.2 kg/s) 
  • Ready for water injection (well control and hydrates formation investigations) to increase understanding of interaction between CO2 rich well flows with reservoir water.
State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

The facility is the only one in Europe that allows the flow of CO2 with impurities in a controlled environment, with defined temperature in the hole and defined boundary conditions.

Scientific Environment

Located right next to the Depress facility in the thermal laboratories of NTNU/SINTEF with its available infrastructures and services and adjacent to the offices of leading scientists in the field of SINTEF and NTNU