Little and large: a tale of two cutting-edge CO2 capture plants


Last September, TNO’s CO2 Capture Miniplant was transported from the Netherlands to Germany to carry out capture solvent testing for the LAUNCH CCUS project alongside RWE’s larger capture plant at the RWE Niederaussem facility. The test campaign took place over three months and used both the capture solvent CESAR1 and the flue gases piped from the Niederaussem power plant. Results are expected to be invaluable for comparing the LAUNCH rig to large-scale units and validating its use in providing representative degradation data.

Our timelapse video shows the Miniplant taking shape at RWE Niederaussem while, below, three researchers from TNO share their experiences of the test campaign.



Eirini Skylogianni

I remember I was very much looking forward to the start of the operation of TNO’s CO2 capture Miniplant at RWE! Having spent great effort in the preparation of the campaign and having been forced to delay due to COVID-19, it was fantastic to see the plant on-site in Niederaussem to be operated head-to-head with RWE’s capture pilot plant. What I liked the most were the informal online meetings between TNO and RWE every morning, where we gave updates of the operation to each other, planned our next steps, solved problems together and discussed our exciting results.

Arjen Huizinga

The contact with RWE was important to keep everything running. Beate [Reusche] with the lab support and sample analyses, Georg [Wiechers] with arranging everything so we could be there, the operators who kept the plant working. We should also talk about the nice lunch breaks, of course. We were guests on their site so, without their help, this would not have been possible.

Paul Gravesteijn

Doing some on-site work is always nice to do. This time we had our own-build, lab-scale CO2 capture plant next to a “real-life” capture plant for a parallel comparison. Although we had some challenges in operation, looking back it was really cool to see these plants next to each other and nice to work on this part of the project.

Sharing results in international forum

When The University of Texas at Austin held its sixth conference on carbon capture and storage (UTCCS-6) this January, findings from the LAUNCH CCUS Niederaussem campaigns were on the agenda.

Peter Moser (RWE) provided an in-depth presentation of continuous 34-month testing of CESAR1, while Tanya Srivastava (TNO) discussed measures for combatting oxygen degradation on solvents using TNO’s patented DORA apparatus. Roberta Figueiredo then explored the use of DORA with CESAR1 solvent during the RWE Niederaussem test campaigns.

Photo: Still frame from LAUNCH rig video