Pilot CCS plant starts operations in Nesjavellir, Iceland

Pilot CCS plant starts operations in Nesjavellir, Iceland Nesjavellir geothermal plant, Iceland (source: Kurita)
Carlo Cariaga 23 Mar 2023

The CCS pilot plant of Carbfix in the Nesjavellir geothermal power plant in Iceland has started operations, thereby reducing the plant's CO2 and H2S emissions.

The new pilot carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant of Carbfix has now started operations at the Nesjavellir geothermal power plant of ON Power – the second largest geothermal plant in Iceland. The pilot plant captures all the H2S and 98% of the CO2 emissions of the geothermal power plant and injects it in to the basaltic subsurface at the Nesjavellir injection site.

The project comes as a result of significant research and development carried out within the Geothermal Emission Control (GECO) project under the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The pilot plant may be moved to different locations for other Carbfix pilot projects in the future.

The goal for the pilot project was both to significantly increase CO2 capture efficiency of the Carbfix technology, and to provide the basis for a subsequent permanent CCS installation at Nesjavellir to reduce its CO2 and H2S emissions. The plant has an annual capture capacity of 3,000 tons of CO2 and 1,000 tons of H2S, which represents approximately 20% of the power plants annual emissions. It was designed and constructed in collaboration with Mannvit Consulting Engineers, Verkís Consulting Engineers, and Hedinn.

The captured CO2 is injected into the basaltic subsurface at the Nesjavellir injection site where it reacts with the bedrock and forms stable carbonate minerals. A full-scale CCS-plant, based on this pilot, is scheduled to become operational at Nesjavellir by 2030, reducing the plant’s CO2 and H2S footprint to near zero.

 “I am incredibly proud of the Carbfix team, our partners at ON Power and our collaborators, for the hard work and dedication that went into this project,” says Nökkvi Andersen, Project Manager. “It was a challenging but rewarding experience, and its success is a testament to great teamwork. This is an important milestone, not only in terms of reducing the CO2 footprint of the Nesjavellir plant but in terms of future application of the Carbfix technology in general.”

Nökkvi Andersen, Project Manager, at the new pilot plant of Carbfix in Nesjavellir, Iceland (source: Carbfix)

“ON Power has decided to make our production emission free by 2030 and we are collaborating with Carbfix to achieve this,” says Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, CEO of ON Power. “The collaboration has been excellent, and we are on track to make Hellisheiði the first emission free geothermal power plant in the world by 2025 and Nesjavellir by 2030. We were the first to set this target and our collaboration demonstrates to the world that it is possible – which is precisely what is needed.”

Carbfix is the world’s first CO2 mineral storage operator. Since 2012, Carbfix has mineralized over 80,000 tons of CO2 in Iceland using proprietary technology. More details on how the company developed and its CCS technology were discussed during a webinar hosted by ThinkGeoEnergy and Enerchange with Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, CEO of Carbfix.

Source: Carbfix