RUEIL-MALMAISON, France, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- IFP and ENEL have just signed a memorandum of understanding to test the first-generation post-combustion capture process, developed by IFP, on a pilot unit to be built by ENEL at the coal-fired power station in Brindisi (Italy).

As part of its RD work on CO2 capture, IFP has developed a first-generation flue gas scrubbing technology using chemical solvents. Results obtained on the pilot unit in the context of the European Castor project (Esbjerg/Denmark) had already demonstrated the feasibility, reliability and efficiency of this solvent-based CO2 capture technology on an industrial scale.

On the basis of these initial results, IFP has continued its research work to optimize the process and cut its operating costs. The improvements made should generate savings in terms of the energy needed to regenerate the solvent. The ammonia content of the flue gases should also be significantly reduced, making it possible to comply with standards governing atmospheric emissions. This cooperation with ENEL will enable IFP to test and demonstrate these performance improvements.

Enel, Europe's second listed utility by installed capacity (approximately 83,3 GWe) has made the strategic decision to be directly involved in the demonstration of Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage technologies (CCS), as a way to guarantee the future use of coal for power generation in a carbon-constrained world. Within this framework, the company has committed to build a slip-stream pilot plant of 10.000 Nm3/h (2,25 ton/h of CO2), to be installed at Brindisi power station. The pilot will be in operation by early 2010 to allow the validation of the process's basic principles and the assessment of the scaling-up criteria, and will be used to compare a range of CO2 capture technologies.

IFP and ENEL worked together on optimizing the sizing of the unit in 2008 and the partners will now collaborate on monitoring tests and analyzing results. In particular, IFP will contribute its expertise in the field of process simulation and analytical monitoring.

This agreement will enable ENEL to strengthen its foothold in the field of CO2 capture and storage and, in particular, play an integral part in the industrial roll-out plan recommended by the European ZEP (Zero emission fossil fuel power plants) technology platform. Enel in fact decided to develop a full-scale demo plant, capable of treating 50% of the flue gases (1.5 Mt/y of CO2) coming out from one of the new 660 MWe coal fired units to be built in Porto Tolle power station.

Following a preliminary assessment, the two partners may also consider testing second-generation processes currently being developed by IFP.

IFP and ENEL aim to use this cooperation agreement to contribute to the implementation of a first-generation of capture processes which make it possible, in the short term, to meet the needs of manufacturers seeking to cut their CO2 emissions.

Press contact: IFP - Anne-Laure de Marignan Tel.: +33-1-47-52-62-07 ENEL - Silvia Saddi Tel.: +39-3298373797

Press contact: IFP - Anne-Laure de Marignan, Tel.: +33-1-47-52-62-07,; ENEL - Silvia Saddi, Tel.: +39-3298373797,