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Compressors CO2 Capture with Integrally–Geared Centrifugal Compressor

| Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Oil sands have become a major source of unconventional oil: Canada produces around 1.25 million barrels per day from oil sands. Extracting the oil, nevertheless, causes CO2 emissions. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a new approach to hamper emissions from bitumen extraction. Compressor specialist MAN took the challenge of providing technology for the Quest CCS Project.

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The “Quest” Carbon Capture and Storage process: (1) The Hydrogen Unit produces hydrogen for the conversion of bitumen to synthetic crude oil. (2) The CO2 is removed from the “syngas” by contacting it with activated amine. Afterwards the CO2 is separated from the amine. (3) The purified CO2 stream is then compressed by a MAN Diesel & Turbo RG90-8 type compressor in eight stages to a discharge pressure of 130 bar. (4) This is sufficient to send the compressed CO2 about 60 kilometres via an underground pipeline to a wellhead. (5) The dense phase CO2 is injected 2.3 kilometres below the surface into a saline rock formation for permanent storage.
The “Quest” Carbon Capture and Storage process: (1) The Hydrogen Unit produces hydrogen for the conversion of bitumen to synthetic crude oil. (2) The CO2 is removed from the “syngas” by contacting it with activated amine. Afterwards the CO2 is separated from the amine. (3) The purified CO2 stream is then compressed by a MAN Diesel & Turbo RG90-8 type compressor in eight stages to a discharge pressure of 130 bar. (4) This is sufficient to send the compressed CO2 about 60 kilometres via an underground pipeline to a wellhead. (5) The dense phase CO2 is injected 2.3 kilometres below the surface into a saline rock formation for permanent storage.
(Picture: Shell Canada)

MAN Diesel & Turbo (MDT) is providing the compressor technology for Shell Canada’s Quest CCS Project, in Alberta, Canada. This project will be the world’s first commercial-scale approach to use CCS in an oil sand operation. From 2015 on, Quest shall capture more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year for permanent underground storage.

Under Ground, Under Pressure

To inject the climate gas into the rock, Shell ordered an RG-type integrally-geared centrifugal compressor from MDT. “Having won the order for engineering in 2011, the supply contract has now been signed”, says bid manager Christof Hüls. MDT Berlin will construct and hand over this type RG90-8 frame size for the first time.

Four pinions are engaged with a different gear ratio, thus leading to diverse rotating speeds. Each pinion mounts two impellers in a back-to-back arrangement. They are compressing the CO2 in eight stages to a discharge pressure of 130 bar.

This compressor, constructed of familiar components which have proved reliable in different frame sizes, handles 80,000 cubic meters of CO2 per hour. The discharge pressure of 130 bar is enough to send the compressed CO2 via a 60 kilometres underground pipeline to a wellhead at the injection site. From there, the dense phase gas is pumped into a saline rock formation 2.3 kilometres below the surface.

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