CO2 liquefaction facility in Nesselnbach officially inaugurated

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Regionalwerke AG Baden (RWB) and Recycling Energie AG celebrated the start of operations of the CO2 liquefaction facility in Nesselnbach, Canton Aargau, with a ceremony and invited guests from politics and business on 4 July.
Hitachi Zosen Inova developed the plant for turnkey delivery on behalf of operating company CO2 Energie AG. It is a significant milestone on the road to decarbonising the Swiss energy system, said Hitachi Zosen Inova.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the upgrading of biogas that was previously released into the environment is now used in industrial applications, for example in processes in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries.
The Recycling Energie site includes a biogas plant whose raw gas has already been refined by RWB since 2018, to provide biomethane, which can be fed into the grid.
The biomethane is generally fed into the existing grid infrastructure for distributed use in heat and power generation.
The CO2 bound in the biogenic substrates and separated in the gas treatment process, on the other hand, is usually released into the atmosphere.
“By expanding the plant, a very complex undertaking from a technical point of view, CO2 Energie now makes it possible to use this by-product,” explained Philippe Lehman, CEO of CO2 Energie AG, at the opening ceremony.
“It’s fed from the gas upgrading plant to the liquefaction unit where it is purified, filtered and dehydrated in several sub-steps. The gas is liquefied by cooling it to minus 24 degrees Celsius. This allows it to be compressed into tanks for storage and transport.”
The CO2 needed in numerous applications can thus be provided from renewable sources. This reduces the use of carbon dioxide of fossil origin and promotes decarbonisation.
CO2 Energie AG commissioned Hitachi Zosen Inova to deliver this project at the end of 2021.
“We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the unveiling of this pioneering climate protection project with our client today,” said Dr Benoît Boulinguiez, managing director of one of the German HZI companies in charge of developing and producing the CO2 liquefaction facility.
“Hopefully concepts of this kind will set a precedent and drive decarbonisation forward.”
The plant, which is of modular container construction with two scrubbing towers, almost completely recycles the carbon dioxide produced: up to 3,000 tonnes per year.
It was manufactured at the HZI site in Zeven, northern Germany, where most of HZI’s gas upgrading and liquefaction teams work.

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