Pilot project for cleaner air

By Geoff Lee

July 19, 2017 2:37 PM

Earlier this year, Inventys commissioned this self-contained 0.5 tonne per day carbon dioxide capture field demonstration plant at Husky Energy’s Pikes Peak South Lloyd thermal project using its VeloxoTherm adsorbent structures. Husky is moving ahead with a 30 tonne per day pilot plant using Inventys’ carbon capture technology. Supplied Photo

Husky Energy is pilot testing a new technology to capture carbon dioxide at its Pikes Peak South thermal heavy oil plant, for use in its enhanced oil recovery program.
The company has partnered with B.C.-based Inventys, the developer of the VeloxoTherm CO2 capture system, to build a 30-tonne per day CO2 capture pilot plant at the site.
“This is the world’s first pilot-scale plant using structured adsorbents to capture CO2 from a once-through steam generator for use in heavy oil recovery,” said Inventys chief executive, Claude Letourneau in a news release on July 11.
Inventys reported it has raised $10 million for the carbon capture pilot project in a current round of financing, with Husky as the largest investor.
An Inventys demonstration project has been capturing 0.5 tonnes per day at Pikes Peak South in the Lloydminster region since January 2017, and is still operating.
Based on that initial testing, Husky is moving ahead with the 30-tonne per day pilot project, which they expect to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2018.
“We believe this technology has the potential to reduce the cost of carbon capture compared to existing technologies, and could turn Lloyd thermal production into a lower carbon source of energy,” said Husky spokesperson Kim Guttormson.
Husky is looking at VeloxoTherm to capture the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in nearby heavy oil fields, as is the CO2 captured at the Lloydminster Ethanol Plant.
Over the past 10 years, the use of CO2 injection technology has increased oil recovery in Husky’s legacy CHOPS wells (cold heavy oil produced with sand) from about eight per cent to about 20 per cent.
“We have produced about three million barrels of heavy oil using CO2-enhanced technologies, and are currently producing about 2,000 barrels per day,” said Guttormson.
Once CO2 is injected, it stays in the reservoir.
VeloxoTherm will also help Husky reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its growing suite of thermal plants in the Lloydminster region.
The company currently produces about 80,000 barrels per day of thermal production from nine facilities around Lloydminster, with plans to increase that by 50 per cent in the next five years.
VeloxoTherm is the latest in a string of CO2 capture technologies Husky has been piloting during the past few years from a once-through steam generator at Pikes Peak South.
Husky said this 13,000 barrels per day facility has smaller once-through steam generators, which are suitable for this kind of testing.
The initial project uses HTC technology, and has been capturing 30 tonnes per day of CO2 since September 2015, and it continues to operate.
HTC uses amine carbon capture technology.
VeloxoTherm touts its technology as the most economical way to separate CO2 from flue gas streams, using a post combustion process that utilizes structured adsorbents.
At the heart of the process is a rotary adsorption machine, which functions in a similar manner to a regenerative pre-air heater.
Inventys’ technology is designed to be used to capture high purity CO2 from dilute flue gas from coal and gas-fired power plants, and industrial processes.

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