Our work

Gas separation technology

Reducing CO2 emissions is essential if we are going to meet national and international climate change targets. TNO is working on new techniques for capturing CO2 and storing it (CCS - carbon capture & storage) or using it productively (CCUS - the U stands for utilization). Around the world, TNO is using its expertise in the purification, separation and treatment of flue gases as well as natural, synthetic and biogases.

For example, TNO is coordinating CATO-2, a Dutch research programme that focuses on the capture and storage of CO2 and involves around forty partners from business and science. TNO is also active in various European projects and has recently set up two EU projects involving a large number of partners with the aim of developing sustainable CO2-based chemistry. In Qatar, TNO is working with the oil and gas industry to develop new CO2-absorption techniques that make it easier to separate CO2 from natural gas as it is being extracted from the ground. TNO is also providing expertise for the Mongstad Technology Centre, the largest test facility in the world for researching CO2 storage technologies.

Meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions

TNO's testing infrastructure in the field of gas technology is unique in Europe. The TNO laboratory in Delft has a pilot plant where companies can have a wide range of tests carried out. The 'THAHRA', as it is known (TNO's High-Pressure Absorption Hybrid Regeneration Apparatus), is often one of the last steps for companies before they launch their technology on a commercial basis. Another example is the test installation at the E.ON power plant on the Maasvlakte, which employs techniques developed by TNO for capturing CO2 from flue gases. This, in turn, is a major contribution to the ROAD initiative (Rotterdam Capture and Storage Demonstration Project), which aims to capture more than one million tonnes of CO2 from the region - the equivalent to the pollution from 200,000 cars - and store it below the North Sea.

Applications

  • In the agricultural sector, waste biomass is being converted into biogas. Working with Dutch businesses, TNO is developing technology to separate methane and CO2 effectively and in an energy-efficient manner. The resulting CO2-free biogas is green and can be put back into the supply grid. The remaining pure methane can be marketed by farms and market gardens. The technology has now advanced far enough to be demonstrated in a pilot scheme.
  • TNO has developed a technique for removing combined CO2 and H2S (a highly toxic gas) from biogas. Following successful lab tests, larger-scale trials are now underway.

Contact

Dr. ir. Earl Goetheer

  • Process Technology
  • Separation Technology
  • Gas treatment
  • Power to Chemicals
  • Carbon capture and utilisation
Email

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