The EDF Group, in partnership with Alstom and with the participation of Veolia Environnement, is involved in creating a research demonstrator for carbon capture and storage (CCS) at Unit 4 of its thermalelectricity plant at Le Havre, in Upper Normandy.

The technology put forward by Alstom and selected by EDF, is that of ‘amine based post combustion CO2 capture’. It will be tested on the CO2 present in the smoke emissions produced from the burning of coal at the Le Havre thermal energy plant. Amines form the basis of the reaction used to extract the CO2 from the smoke. The ‘amine washing’ technology is currently used in the natural gas purification industry.

The company said that the research demonstrator aims to reduce the plant’s amine and energy consumption whilst, also allowing testing of the performance of this new technology within an industrial setting and analysis of its flexibility of use.

EDF said that the technology to be tested at Le Havre has been developed by the Dow Chemical company, in partnership with Alstom, for this new application for use within the electricity production industry.

Veolia Environnement will be involved in the treatment of effluents from the demonstrator and in the evaluation of the captured CO2.

The project will run from 2010 to 2013 and consist of 3 stages: research, construction and operation. 25% of the financing of the EUR22m project, came from the Research Demonstrator Fund, administered by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

The Le Havre research demonstrator represents an essential stage in the development of viable industrial solutions for the capture and storage of CO2, EDF said.