Press Information

MHI and E.ON Energie of Germany to Verify CO2 Recovery Technology
For Coal-fired Power Generation Plants
-- 100 Tons/Day Facility to Start Operation in 2010 --

No.1245
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Tokyo, July 3, 2008 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and E.ON Energie AG will jointly test technology for recovering carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue-gas emissions from a coal-fired power generation plant in Germany. The CO2 recovery test plant to be added to E.ON Energie's existing plant will adopt MHI's technology for absorbing and desorbing CO2 from flue gas using its proprietary KS-1 solvent, and will be capable of capturing100 metric tons of CO2 per day (flue-gas flow rate: 20,000 cubic meters per hour). The recovery plant operation will commence early in 2010. The various tests to be conducted at the plant will focus mainly on further reducing the amount of energy consumed to complete the CO2 recovery process.

Coal is today’s most abundant fossil fuel in terms of reserves, but when combusted it emits more CO2, a greenhouse gas, than natural gas or oil. Through the verification program in Germany, MHI and E.ON Energie aim to establish effective technology for recovering CO2 from coal-fired power plants, as a way of contributing significantly to the prevention of global warming.

E.ON Energie, headquartered in Munich, is Europe's largest privately owned provider of energy services and an affiliate of Düsseldorf-based E.ON AG. E.ON Energie generates over 270 billion kWh of electricity per year and provides electricity, gas and overall energy services to some 17 million customers in central Europe. The company has been studying the feasibility of establishing and launching an efficient CO2 recovery technology for coal-fired power generation plants as a global warming preventive measure.

One feature of MHI's CO2 recovery technology is considerably lower energy consumption compared with other processes. In Japan, a testing plant capable of recovering 10 tons of CO2 per day using MHI's process has been operating at a coal-fired power generation plant in Nagasaki – the Matsushima Thermal Power Station of Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER) – since July 2006, and verification testing toward the establishment of the optimal recovery system is moving forward.

In the testing project in Germany, E.ON Energie will build, based on MHI's basic design, a CO2 recovery pilot plant including a flue-gas cooling tower, a CO2 absorption tower using the KS-1 solvent, and a CO2 desorption tower for separating the CO2 from the absorbent. MHI will supply part of the facility equipment and the K-1 solvent. Testing with flue gas from coal-fired boilers will be conducted over a period of two years. E.ON Energie is expected to invest 10 million euros in the program.

Coal’s recoverable reserves are estimated at more than 900 billion tons, and they are more evenly distributed geographically than oil or natural gas reserves. Globally, coal-fired power plants are the most prevalent form of power generation, producing more than 40% of the world’s electricity. In the world’s two largest power-consuming countries, the U.S. and China, coal-fired power generation accounts for more than 50% and roughly 80%, respectively, of all electricity generated. Establishment of an effective CO2 recovery system for coal-fired power plants is being pursued today in a quest to achieve balanced prolongation of the availability of oil and natural gas, and simultaneously as a viable way of curbing global warming.

 

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