SEPPIL - Low temperature separation laboratory - Low temperature separation pilot

Facility Location
City & country
Trondheim (Norway)
Sem Sælands vei 11, 7034
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
SINTEF ER - SINTEF Energy Research
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
David Berstad
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Sigurd Weidemann Løvseth
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Estimate (upon completion and after first campaigns are concluded): 180 days per year
Expected duration of single experiment:
Estimate: 1–5 days
Operational or other constraints
Specific risks:
Coordination with other RI's needed due to high consumption of auxiliaries (refrigeration, electric power, cooling water). The first test campaigns will involve only inert gases in the main process (nitrogen and CO2). The RI is otherwise as far as practically possible available for experiments using combustible gases in the main process. However, a switch to combustible gases (e.g. hydrogen mixed with CO2) may require additional modifications or replacement of equipment (e.g. ex-proof level meters in separator tanks).
Legal issues
Access to SINTEF ER lab will require acceptance of safety and security policies and training.

SEPPIL is a lab-pilot experimental facility suitable for CO2 separation and purification from gas mixtures originating from pre-combustion applications such as hydrogen production, oxy-fuel processes, and pre-separated flue gases from post-combustion applications in industry and power generation.

The main purpose of the rig is to demonstrate the capture efficiency (CO2 capture ratio) from various types of above-mentioned relevant gas mixtures by cooling and condensation. This will be demonstrated in operational modes (finite separator retention time) and in a scale sufficiently large for industrial interest. The throughput capacity is approximately 340 Sm3/h, which gives a CO2 throughput rate in the rough interval 5–15 ton per day, depending on the exact gas composition in consideration.

CO2-rich liquid is separated from CO2-depleted gas in two separator tanks in series. The bulk separation takes place at high pressure in the first of the two vessels. At the inlet of the second vessel the liquid is throttled to lower pressure, which increases the purity of the liquid CO2.

The test rig is being instrumented to monitor the operation of heat exchangers, separators, compressors and other auxiliary systems: 15–20 temperature sensors (excluding compressor instrumentation); 6 pressure transmitters (excluding compressor instrumentation); 2 level meters for separation tanks; 3 mass flow meters; 5 extraction points for composition measurement by gas chromatography. Maximum operation pressure is 120 bar on the high-pressure side.

An auxiliary refrigeration cycle with ethane as refrigerant will be included in the RI. This unit will have a condenser temperature of approximately -40 °C (heat rejected to a CO2 evaporator), and the evaporator temperature can be varied to be between -70 °C and -50 °C, with -55 °C as typical operation temperature. The capacity of the refrigeration unit is approximately 10 kW.

A 3D impression of the RI is shown in the figure on the right.

3D impression of the facility. Some piping segments and auxiliary refrigeration are omitted from the drawing
State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

The RI is the first of its kind with the given process design.

The RI fits very well with the national R&D priorities on CCS. Specifically, the CLIMIT strategy and program plan calls for multiple CCS technologies for CO2 capture to reduce costs and energy use. Further, CLIMIT calls for efficient ship transport, in which low-temperature separation processes are attractive, since additional liquefaction can be avoided.

With the growing focus on hydrogen production from natural gas, the RI can be used to investigate separation of syngas with CO2 capture, which can become a relevant processing step in combination with dense metallic membranes (e.g. palladium) and other novel hydrogen production technologies.

Scientific Environment

General: Located in the thermal laboratories of NTNU with its available infrastructures and services.

Special: See brief instrumentation description above.


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