- Welcome to the Olympics in CO2 capture, said the person who will direct SINTEF's greenhouse gas initiative - Nils A. Røkke - to a large group of journalists at the huge Tiller laboratories in Trondheim on 14 August 2008.
Text and photo: Svein Tønseth, SINTEF Media
– We are going to make CO2 capture cheaper, he added when the photographers' flashlights started.
This press conference was the start of a Norwegian research and development programme over 8 years worth over NOK 300 million. This is a substantial joint initiative where SINTEF Materials and Chemistry is to be central in the programme.
New laboratory at Tiller
A visible part of the initiative is the new laboratory facilities that will be built at Tiller, next to the multiphase laboratory and the fire research laboratory.
Nils A. Røkke explained that this was the Olympics because we have got through the qualification heats and now, this is the final.
Contracts worth NOK 317 million
Minutes later, SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo, NTNU's Rector Torbjørn Digernes and the CEO of Aker Clean Carbon, Jan Roger Bjerkestrand signed the contracts. The session marked the beginning of the 8-year research and the development programme SOLVit. This research work has a framework of NOK 317 million.
The project is among the largest of its kind in the world and is SINTEF's largest project ever. NOK 220 million is allocated to activities at SINTEF and NTNU.
Gas emissions from industry and power plants
The cooperation comprises gas cleaning processes that can capture CO2 from the processing industry and emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. It is a key sector as the 4000 largest plants in the world represent 40 per cent of the man-made global CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.
The objective of SOLVit is to develop better and more cost-effective processes and chemicals to facilitate the capture of CO2 emissions from such plants.
NOK 42 million laboratory
Part of the programme is the construction of a large NOK 42 million laboratory at Tiller in Trondheim. SINTEF will invest NOK 25 million in the new laboratory.
The laboratory will be a unique pilot-scale test facility with a 30-metre high tower and a 25- metre processing column. These are the equivalent heights that are stipulated in the cleaning plants used in industry.
The laboratory will be available for SINTEF's customers and partners in Norway and abroad. The signing of the SOLVit contract will result in a valuable asset for Norwegian research and the towers will be a feature of the landscape by the River Nidelva.
Smiles and congratulations when the SOLVit contract was signed. From the left, SINTEF's President Unni Steinsmo, Jan Roger Bjerkestrand, CEO of Aker Clean Carbon, and NTNU's Rector Torbjørn Digernes.