Carbon Capture and Storage with SCPs

CCS plants are therefore currently being built primarily where the greenhouse gas is produced in large quantities in industrial processes - in power plants that run on fossil, substitute or residual fuels, in the chemical industry, in oil and gas refineries, in the cement industry, in iron and steel plants, and in the maritime industry. (Image source: Teamjackson-", rights purchased from SERO PumpSystems)

Side Channel Pumps: Optimal Conveying Solution for Transport and Storage of CO2

CO2 capture and storage, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), is a technology designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The process involves the capture of CO2 from exhaust gases from industrial processes and power plants and its subsequent storage in geological formations. Due to their special features, such as very low NPSH values, large delivery heads, low-temperature resistance down to – 60 °C or the tear-free delivery of two-phase flows with up to 50 percent gas content, CCS plant builders count on side channel pumps from SERO PumpSystems.

Technologies for the capture and storage of CO2 make an important contribution to the decarbonization of industrial processes. CCS plants are therefore currently being built primarily where the greenhouse gas is produced in large quantities in industrial processes – in power plants operated with fossil, substitute or residual fuels, in the chemical industry, in oil and gas refineries, in the cement industry, in iron and steel mills, and in the maritime industry. Another effect of capturing and storing CO2 is the generation of environmentally neutral energy, for example in the production of blue hydrogen or the provision of liquefied CO2 for heating purposes, for process engineering or in the shipping industry. After the capture process, the CO2 is fed into a compression stage where it is compressed under high pressure to around 100 bar so that it can be transported as a liquid phase to the point of use or storage. Pumps play an important role in the entire CCS process. In particular, side channel pumps from SERO PumpSystems meet the necessary technical requirements to be used in many places along CCS infrastructure chains from capture to transport to permanent sequestration under the seabed, in rock strata or in empty oil and gas fields.

Principle of the side channel pump ideal for CCS plants

Side channel pumps have a number of features that benefit them when used in CCS plants. Thanks to their self-priming operating principle and their holding pressure head – the lowest NPSH value is just 0.2 meters – side channel pumps such as the SHP series or the SEMA-S…TT offer optimum integration possibilities. Extremely low inlet heads can be realized when taking off from a tank – which avoids special structural or design measures on the system. The wide speed range of the pumps makes it possible to adjust the delivery volume variably and thus to pump liquid carbon dioxide or ammonia as CO2 carrier without pulsation. Another characteristic of side channel pumps is their large delivery head and very steep characteristic curve – depending on the series and design, it extends up to 1100 meters.

Designed for high pressures and a wide temperature range

Side channel pumps operate under demanding process conditions in CCS plants. For example, they are designed and specified for high pressures of up to 100 bar – far more than the 15 bar that must be mastered in the transport and storage of compressed, liquefied CO2. At the same time, they are suitable for a wide range of media temperatures from -60 °C to +220 °C. Low-temperature fluids such as CO2 and ammonia, which change from a gaseous to a liquid state at temperatures of around -57 °C and -33 °C respectively, can thus be reliably transported – because the side channel pumps are specially designed for this in several respects. Spring assemblies configured for this purpose compensate for thermal expansion as well as contraction of the hydraulics, as occurs when the pump is filled by the pumped medium or at standstill. Additional elongation inserts prevent temperature-related stresses in the pump body. The plain bearing was designed with a dimensionally optimized fit. Finally, special thrust washers minimize possible wear effects and thus ensure increased operational reliability.

Reliable performance in two-phase conveying

Another advantage offered by side-channel pumps is their ability to maintain uninterrupted pumping performance even when gas components occur in the liquid CO2. If the pressurization changes and media temperatures reach their boiling points, liquid carbon dioxide and ammonia tend to successively change to the gaseous state. In such a case, side channel pumps operate very reliably for a long time, because they keep the flow rate largely constant even in the event of pressure fluctuations and can even pump two-phase flows with up to 50 percent gas content without cracking. Problems due to possible vapor bubble formation and thus effects on the delivery or metering rate are thus reliably excluded.

First CCS plant projects with side-channel pumps being implemented

The advantages offered by side-channel pumps in the capture and storage of CO2 are already being used in various CCS projects and pilot plants. Among them is Wärtsilä Marine Systems, which has taken a central role in CCS technology. For example, Wärtsilä is developing the industry’s first on-board carbon capture and storage technology. As such, CCS presents an immediate opportunity for sustainable shipping. Through its collaboration with AxFlow AS, SERO PumpSystems has supplied pumps for Wärtsilä test facilities.

Side channel pumps contribute to CO2-neutral processes

CO2 capture and storage helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thus actively contributes to sustainability. To this end, side-channel pumps can play a significant role in the capture, transport and storage of CO2 – and thus in climate-neutral processes – as an important component in CCS plants.

Source & Pictures: SERO PumpSystems