Norwegian CO2 Lab tour marks milestone in REALISE CCUS project


A tailored tour of SINTEF’s CO2 Lab and capture pilot plant in Trondheim, Norway, proved a highlight for REALISE CCUS partners who met in November for the project’s second regional gathering.

Research teams from across Europe gathered for a hybrid event, which featured presentations on research progress and an open meeting for local stakeholders, PhD students and members of the REALISE Advisory Board and Industry Club.

SINTEF’s Tiller CO2 Lab is a highly advanced facility built for testing and developing post-combustion CO2 capture technologies, complete with absorption and desorption plant and coal and biomass burner.

For the REALISE project, the facility has been specially equipped with a CO2 compression and liquefaction unit, enabling analysis of impurities in CO2 streams as part of the project’s capture demonstration campaigns. Results are expected to be of value to a range of industrial facilities, including the refinery sector.  

Thor Mejdell, SINTEF Senior Scientist, said: “Commissioning of our CO2 compression and liquefaction unit is ongoing and will be completed by the end of January or early February. The rig has operated as expected so far.”

Having held most of the project’s meetings to date as virtual events, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the project partners welcomed the opportunity to meet in person. Those unable to travel to Trondheim tuned into the talks online.

Project Coordinator, Inna Kim, of SINTEF, said: “Our November event, which we organised as a hybrid meeting, allowed 24 participants to meet in person and 26 participants to join us online. Although there are huge improvements in digital event platforms, nothing beats meeting people face-to-face. It brings so much more value to collaboration and enables real discussions that are just not possible through online platforms.

“The tour of SINTEF’s test facilities was of particular interest because it can be hard to get a feeling about the scale and complexity of the facilities for testing the technologies developed in the project until you see them up close.”

Presentations during the two-day event covered a range of research topics, from technical aspects of CO2 capture from multiple sources – of particular relevance to refineries – and onsite CO2 capture demonstration in industry settings to effective methods of public engagement.

Peter van Os, Senior Project Manager, TNO, said: “At the meeting, we were able to report on the TNO mobile Miniplant capture pilot, which will be certified before the end of January 2022. Preparations for transportation to the Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery can then finally begin. We expect the rig to be installed by the end of February and will then go for an eight-month demonstration campaign.”

During the plenary sessions of the meeting, Koteswara Rao Putta of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) and member of the REALISE Advisory Board, provided an overview of CO2 capture testing activities at TCM, including proprietary test campaigns for vendors and non-proprietary test campaigns and help for technology developers.

Updates from the research teams concluded that the project is mostly on track, despite challenges relating to Covid-19. However, the demonstration campaigns, which are delivered onsite and depend on team interaction, have been impacted. There have also been late deliveries of parts and consumables for both the SINTEF rig and TNO Miniplant.

At the next regional meeting, to be held in May in Cork, Ireland, the work package teams expect to share preliminary results from the demonstration campaigns.

Watch video: 2nd regional meeting & visit to SINTEF CO2 pilot facilities


The REALISE project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the EU’s biggest EU Research and Innovation programme aimed at supporting innovative ideas from lab to market.

Main photo: SINTEF