Australia: New Technological Steps In Oxy-Combustion

Oxy-combustion is a promising solution for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy industries including coal-fired power plants, blast furnaces and cement plants. Using oxygen instead of air for the combustion of coal or other fuels results in exhaust gases of relatively pure CO2 that can be captured, stored or directly used (e.g. for enhanced oil recovery).

In this context, the Group has just signed in Queensland, Australia, a contract to provide an Air Separation Unit (ASU) with an oxygen production capacity of 660 tonnes per day and a CO2 Cryogenic Purification Unit. This contract is part of a technological partnership with the Australian joint-venture Callide Oxyfuel Services, an electricity producer.

This project involves the refurbishment of the power station of 100 MWth nominal capacity, so as to test the technologies of the CO2 capture and storage process. Design and construction of the CO2 Cryogenic Purification Unit will be carried out from 2009-2010 and commissioning will take place in early 2011. Under the terms of this technological partnership, Air Liquide will carry out a series of tests on the Purification Unit pilot, under real operating conditions. This unit is the ultimate validation step of this technology before its large scale commercialization and thus has no equivalent worldwide.

The Air Liquide Group has developed a high level of expertise in the field of oxy-combustion to meet energy and environmental challenges. The Callide technological partnership is the continuation of several large-scale research projects and is part of Air Liquide global roadmap toward the industrialization of oxy-combustion.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President Air Liquide Group, in charge of R&D, Advanced Technologies and Engineering & Construction, commented: "This technological partnership and this industrial pilot in Australia demonstrate our commitment to make cleaner energy a reality. In the near future, oxy-combustion will become a key technology globally for reducing CO2 emissions from the combustion of coal and other heavy fuels. Air Liquide is proud to bring its technologies to help to reduce the global carbon footprint of industry, and thus contributing to the environment, one of the Group's growth drivers."

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