SINTEF Tiller Pilot - Tiller CO2 Capture Pilot Plant

Facility Location
City & country
Trondheim (Norway)
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
SINTEF - Stiftelsen SINTEF
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
Thor Mejdell
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Rune Bredesen
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Min 20 days
Expected duration of single experiment:
20 days

The pilot plant was commissioned in 2010 and is located in a new building at the SINTEF site at Tiller. A propane burner (380 kW) is providing heat to the buildings and flue gas to the plant. The columns diameters in the plant have been dimensioned according to the amount of flue gas available and are quite small. However, the design philosophy has been to otherwise design the plant as similar as possible to a full scale post combustion plant. The gas rate (m/s), the liquid load (m3 /h*m2 ), the packing material and the total packing heights are similar, such that the conditions for mass and heat transfer from gas to liquid and reaction rates will be very similar as in an industrial sized plant. Thus upscaling the results from this plant is very straight forward. The pilot plant consists of three main parts: The flue gas pre-treatment, the CO2 absorption part, and the solvent regeneration part. The pre-treatment part is used for setting the flow rate, the temperature, the humidity and the CO2 concentration to desired values according to the experimental plan. The exhaust gas is first diluted with air and/or supplied with CO2 from the stripper to get the desired CO2 concentration. It then goes through a direct contact cooler (DCC) to cool down the gas and get a well defined humidity. The DCC is a 26 cm ID column with 2.5 m Mellapak 2X structured packing where cooled water is circulated. Downstream the DCC is a high capacity fan. A final adjustment of the gas temperature is obtained by a heat exchanger before the absorber. The absorption column has 20 cm inner diameter and is equipped with 19.5 meter structured Mellapak 2X packing divided into four sections. Liquid distributor and redistributors sections (in-house SINTEF design) are installed between each section, and facilitate sampling of both gas and liquid between each section. In the upper part of the column (above the 4th absorption section) two water-wash sections with structured Mellapak 2X packing are used to remove amine vapour in the flue gas. A third section with a pH controlled acid wash is implemented as an option. Demisters are placed above the upper lean solvent distributor and above the upper water wash distributor and acid wash distributor to remove entrained droplets. An inter-cooling system has been installed to lower the solvent temperature to the lowest section. The column is instrumented with temperature sensors every meter, and pressure sensors below each packed column sections and above the upper water wash section. Each of these sections is designed for representative sampling of gas and liquid. The solvent regeneration system consists of reboiler, desorption column and 2 condensers to separate stripped CO2 and water/amine vapour. Recovered CO2 will be discharged to the atmosphere, or recirculated to the feed gas system upstream the DCC in order to increase the CO2-concentration. The stripper column has an inner diameter of 16.2 cm, and a total packing height of 13.6 meters structured Mellapak 2X packing consisting of three sections with solvent distribution/redistribution between each sections. The liquid distributor and redistributors sections are of similar design as in the absorber. The stripper column is equipped with temperature measurement every meter and pressure measurement below each section and above the upper section. The stripper column and the reboiler are equipped with a heat tracing system providing no heat loss to the surroundings. The upper part of the stripper column has two water-wash sections similar to the water wash in the absorber. Demisters are placed above the upper (rich) solvent distributor and above the upper water distributor to remove entrained droplets. 

The pilot was built in 1998 and upgraded in 2004. The gas treating capacity of the pilot plant is approximately 150 m3 /h. The absorber has an internal diameter of 0.15m and a packing height of 4.23 m whereas for the stripper the height and diameter are 3.57m and 0.1m. Both columns have Sulzer BXpacking. The pilot is fully automated with continuous logging of the liquid and gas flows, the temperature profiles in the packed columns (7 probes in the absorber and 5 probes in the stripper), the CO2 concentrations in and out the absorber, the reboiler heat duty and temperatures and pressures in the pipes. The absorber is connected to a water wash section with height of 2.1m and internal diameter of 0.15m (packing type SULZER 250Y). Total amount of liquid solution needed for operation is ~180l. The pilot is operated continuously (24- hours) and no operator is needed present in the evenings/nights. The plant is specially designed for solvent testing in post combustion and can be used for

  • testing of new potential amines
  • testing degradation in long term running (it is possible to add NO/NO2 into the gas phase)
  • water wash experiments
  • testing of new technics related to emission control.
State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

The Tiller plant and lab pilot are excellent to test new solvent systems. The total liquid holdup is about 600 litres at Tiller and about 200 litres at Lab pilot, thus suitable also for more expensive solvent systems. The results are easily scaled up to industrial sizes since the gas-liquid conditions in the towers are very similar. At Tiller the desorber part is heat-traced keeping adiabatic conditions and the burner gives a constant and reliable source of gas. The lab pilot operates with synthetic flue gas. Both of the plants are very well instrumented and controlled such that steady state conditions in the column are easily obtained. Data treating systems have been made such that the results are easily processed and presented. Experienced and skilled technicians/scientists give the necessary support to get the best out of the campaign program. Both facilities is very flexible with easy access to all parts of the plant. Modifications and additional instrumentation of the plant may be done inexpensively.


Scientific Environment

We offer the access to the pilot plants for performing solvent test campaigns. CO2 concentrations up to 30% CO2 have been tested. Solvent emission tests with various contaminate may be performed including test with mist particles by using our mist generator. SINTEF have long experience in the gas sampling and analysing. Also, a desk with internet access will be available during the stay. The analysis facility is very good including advanced analysis of degradation products because of a very well equipped analytical laboratory.

Operational constraints

  • Both of the pilots are located inside. The solvent to be tested has to be approved by NTNU/SINTEF to ensure safety working environment for all. If needed working environment will be monitored by manual gas sampling during the campaign.
  • Local HSE rules has to be followed.
  • The solvent has to pass corrosion tests (either satisfactory corrosion data for solvent is provided beforehand or SINTEF will run their own corrosion tests)
  • Main operator from either NTNU/SINTEF will be needed to ensure safe operation of the pilot.

selected publications

Mejdell, T.,Vassbotn,T., Juliussen, Einbu, A.,Knuutila,H., Hoff, K.A., Andersson, V., Svendsen, H. F. (2011)
Novel full height pilot plant for solvent development and model validation
Energy Procedia, 4, 1753-1760