RWE, Linde and BASF have unveiled the results of testing on a new carbon capture technology for flue gas in a pilot plant at RWE’s Niederaussem power station near Cologne, Germany.

The new technology, using chemical solvents, can reduce energy input by about 20%, compared with existing processes.

The new solvents also feature clearly superior oxygen stability, which reduces solvent consumption significantly.

BASF Intermediates division Global Gas Treatment business manager Andreas Northemann said the practical tests met all of the expectations they had after lab-testing the new solvent.

“This paves the way for scaling up the process to large power plants,” Northemann said.

The pilot plant, commissioned in August 2009, is part of the RWE Power’s Coal Innovation Center.

BASF is testing the carbon capture process based on improved solvents in the course of this cooperation announced in 2007, and Linde was responsible for pilot plant engineering and construction.

The partners are currently working on solutions for demonstration and large-scale power plants with the first such plants scheduled for 2015 and will be used commercially in coal-fired power stations by 2020.

The technology will allow more than 90% of the CO2 in the waste gas of a power plant to be captured for subsequent sub-surface storage or for chemical transformation.