Effective climate protection to combat climate change is not possible without a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. In view of the continued increase in energy demand worldwide, E.ON’s efforts to achieve technological advances in conventional generation are making an important contribution to the avoidance of carbon emissions. Fossil fuels like coal provide much of the world’s electricity and will not be fully replaced by low-emission generating technologies for decades to come. That is why the power industry is focusing its research and development on an innovative process called carbon capture and storage (CCS), which would make it possible to generate electricity from coal with nearly zero emissions. The successful development of CCS technologies includes the capture of the CO2 in power stations (and other emission sources) as well as its transportation and permanent storage underground.
In the presentation, the challenges for planning and constructing a pipeline for CO2 will be illustrated on the basis of a possible CCS process chain. There is above all a need to establish a legal framework that permits the transportation and storage of CO2. The directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and the European Council lays down the basis for the capture, transport and storage of CO2 but some issues have yet to be resolved and in many member states the directive has not yet been transposed into national law.
The presentation will also outline the technical challenges of transporting CO2. Engineers have to find the best way to transport the CO2 from the sources (i.e. power plants) to the sinks (i.e. storage sites). The safest and most environmentally friendly way of transporting large volumes of CO2 onshore is through pipeline systems. The EGIG (European Gas pipeline Incident data Group) incident statistics for gas transmission pipelines in Europe demonstrate the high safety of the European pipeline system. Furthermore, transporting CO2 through high-pressure pipelines has been proven practice for decades, e.g. in the USA where CO2 has been injected into oil fields to increase the recovery rate. CO2 pipelines already exist in Europe as well. The unanswered questions on such matters as corrosion and phase behaviour will also be outlined in the presentation.