Industrial companies at home and abroad are looking for ways to reduce their CO₂ emissions cost effectively. While they make plans for CO₂ capture, they do not know enough about how to achieve this effectively in technological and economic terms. TNO offers knowledge, expertise and facilities for this – on-site CO₂ capture services – whereby we advise and assist companies in minimising emissions from production processes. These measures always involve a good balance between what is technically feasible and what is economically justifiable.

Want more information about the TNO CO₂ capture services?

Please contact Brigitte Jacobs


Experts from TNO built it a few years ago and it is still unique in the world: the mobile CO₂ capture pilot plant. This pilot plant can carry out on-site tests to capture CO₂ from various types of flue gases. TNO already has more than 10,000 hours of operational experience with this plant and, given its success, is building a second mobile CO₂ capture plant. This will become available later this year and complies with ATEX (explosion safety) regulations.

On-site diagnosis
For companies in various sectors it is important to know how the flue gases in their industrial processes are composed and what contaminations and impurities they contain. By measuring and analysing the flue gases with advanced equipment, an accurate picture is created of the CO₂ content and the presence of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx). Based on this characterisation, the optimal CO₂ capture process can be determined. This data is also very important for the design of future capture installations.

CO2 capture pilot plant
AVR was the first in the Netherlands with the TNO mobile CO₂ capture pilot plant. At the waste power plant in Duiven, the process of capturing CO₂ on site was accurately simulated on a small scale by the mobile capture installation. Extensive tests showed that the CO₂ captured from the flue gases was of good quality and suitable for supplying horticulture in the region to enable better and faster crop growth. TNO calculated both the technical and economic feasibility, and outlined the basic concept for the design of the installation. The benefits are twofold: AVR emits less CO₂ and horticulturists no longer need natural gas to produce their CO₂.

Technology independent

There is now a great deal of interest at home and abroad in the mobile capture installation. For example, a refinery is going to use it for at least six months to analyse its processes and determine what is the ideal way for them to decarbonise via CO₂ capture. The advantage of the mobile capture pilot plant is that it can capture CO₂ on a small scale on site, does not disrupt ongoing business processes and is technology-independent. All types of solvent and flue gases and interactions between them can be tested and analysed. The knowledge gained forms the basis for the design of a future capture installation.

International research

In the international research programme LAUNCH, in which public authorities, knowledge institutes and companies from Europe and the US are working together, TNO's mobile plant also plays a major role. In this project the mobile plant will run with different solvents for more than 10,000 hours for qualification purposes. The plant can be widely used for testing a variety of solvents. Pilots and demonstrations are planned at AVR in Duiven and RWE's pilot plant in Niederaussem, Germany. LAUNCH aims to accelerate cost-effective CO₂ capture in industry with innovative technologies.

Technical details of the mobile CO2 capture pilot plant

On-site diagnosis
Perform complete analysis of the flue gases in terms of CO₂ quantity as well as impurities relevant to the CO₂ capture process, such as NOx, SOx and other contaminants (like aerosol-based solvent emissions).

Identify risk related impurities in the CO₂ capture operation and provide insights relevant to the development of the future Carbon Capture Plant.

Mobile CO2 capture pilot plant
Mobile CO₂ capture plant (fully automated and continuous (24/7) absorption-desorption process) that can operate on site with real flue gases to test CO₂ capture technologies, with free choice of solvents.

Carbon Capture Services on-site

Mini-plant Details

  • Solvent circulation flow rate: 5 to 50 l/hour
  • Input gas flow rate: 1 to 5 Nm3/hour
  • Stripper pressure: max. 3 barg
  • Reboiler temperature: max 150ºC
  • Footprint: 1.5 m x 4 m = 6 m2
  • Maximum height: 7,5 m

The advantages

  • Analysis of solvent-flue gas interactions helps reduce risk caused by solvent degradation.
  • Permit acquisition process is facilitated by determining base emissions as well as emissions in dynamic operations.
  • Future operators gain a first experience of a full-scale CO₂ capture plant.