Kelvin Station Launches Carbon Capture Project, Eyes Clean Future

Transformative Carbon Project Reduces Emissions, Produces Fertilizer

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Kelvin carbon capture project

Kelvin Power Station, located in Isando, Ekurhuleni, has embarked on a pioneering carbon capture pilot project. This initiative represents a significant stride in combating climate change by effectively reducing emissions from one of the region’s primary coal-fired power plants. The project, capable of processing 300 cubic meters per hour of flue gas, not only captures carbon dioxide but also nitrogen and sulfur oxides, transforming them into valuable industrial products and fertilizers.

This venture is the fruit of a collaboration between multiple partners, including the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), German development agency GIZ, the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, South African firm EPCM Global Engineering, and CPPE, a German industrial gas cleaning company. It falls under the CoalCO₂-X program, which aims to create circular production processes for diesel and fertilizers by utilizing flue gas components, with an eventual transition to using green ammonia and hydrogen.

The process begins with the extraction of flue gases, which are then cooled and humidified, removing heavy metals and particulates. These gases are treated in a series of reactors that produce sulfuric acid, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium bicarbonate crystals. The result is a significant reduction in harmful emissions, with the demonstration showing sulfur oxides reduced to zero parts per million (ppm) from 259 ppm, nitrogen oxides to 0.2 ppm from 459.5 ppm, and carbon dioxide from 7.76% to 5.62%.

Kelvin Power Station, an independent power producer primarily serving the City of Johannesburg, is exploring the feasibility of transitioning to a hydrogen-ready natural gas power station to further reduce emissions and support economic growth. The station’s general manager, Oupa Seopa, highlighted the potential of natural gas to contribute to decarbonization while ensuring grid stability. The success of this pilot project could pave the way for its integration into Kelvin’s future power generation strategies, aligning with the global push towards net-zero emissions. Furthermore, the project’s scalability could offer a model for other industries seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

This initiative is part of a broader commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation, reflecting a concerted effort by public and private entities to address the challenges posed by climate change. With the support of international partners and a focus on renewable technologies, the Kelvin power station’s carbon capture project stands as a beacon of progress in the journey towards a more sustainable and cleaner energy future.

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