The Advanced Capture Testing in a Transportable Remotely‐Operated Mini‐lab (ACTTROM) is a facility designed to allow long-term characterisation of CO2 capture technologies under exposure with power station or industrial facility flue gases. It allows materials used for CO2 capture, such as solvents, solid adsorbents, membrane materials, carbon alloys, corrosion coupons, to be tested remotely over extended periods to get the same levels of degradation that will occur on real plants. This length of time would be expensive on a pilot scale unit for a single test, and multiple tests would be required in practice to cover the range of possible operating conditions.

The ACTTROM unit is remotely operated to take a slipstream of 25-50 m3 of flue gas per day and runs a number of small‐scale test units operated in parallel to reproduce capture processes conditions. A second series of test intends to accelerate degradation and allows operators to anticipate on unforeseen engineering issues related to exposure to real flue gases. The unit will typically be serviced for sampling on a regular basis by the University of Edinburgh.

ACTTROM provides site-specific operational data to technology users in advance of the deployment of a specific capture system at their industrial site.
It provides operational data to technology developers to provide operational data in anticipation to the scale-up of a technology.

ACTTROM is currently planned to be dispatched at a gas power station in the UK in 2013.

Example Applications

  • Testing with exposure from power station (or an industrial facility) flue gas for the development of solvents, adsorbents, membrane materials, corrosion solutions etc. For post-combustion capture, taking into account flue gas variability, conditions and/or fuels. Pilot plant studies of amine capture systems, e.g. the CASTOR project  and the RWE Niederaussem pilot , show that solvent degradation products vary from site to site, due to variation in flue gas impurities, local make‐up water quality and hardware material.
  • Benchmarking of technologies and comparison under “real” operating conditions
  • Development of bespoke capture solutions for particular power plant or industrial facility flue gas. ACTTROM allows testing at a specific site to test a capture technology prior to scale-up.
  • Solvent assessment, including ‘real’ aged solvents, membrane and adsorption material durability with flue gas impurities
  • Development of detailed mechanisms for degradation to inform mitigation strategies 

System Description

The ACCTROM unit is self-contained and has been designed following a rigorous Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP). It meets all the regulations (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR), Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)) required for its deployment at an industrial site.

Host industrial facilities provide a site, a supply of flue gas, electricity and an internet connection.

The enclosure is based on a standard chemical storage unit designed to be transported rapidly and placed on any suitable flat area. Modular internal units are provided for flue gas conditioning and hot and cold water supplies for test rig temperature control. Another module provides the remote access control and data logging system through a wireless internet link, which will allow scientists anywhere in the country to monitor and control their experiments. Internal and external video images are also available to allow any unusual conditions to be assessed.