Carbon capture for net-zero Copenhagen

Full-scale carbon capture plant at Copenhagen waste-to-energy facility, Amager Bakke, that will capture 500,000 tonnes of CO2 annually by end 2025, helping the Danish capital become carbon neutral.
Amager Bakke photo shoot

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is high on the agenda as part of the solution to the world’s climate issues. There is general agreement globally that it will be required to meet the carbon emission reduction targets and the global warming mitigation aspirations of the Paris Agreement. In Denmark, the government also has high expectations for CCS and anticipates a potential reduction of 4-9 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Amager Bakke waste-to-energy facility in Copenhagen, Denmark established a pilot plant for carbon capture, which was the first of its kind in Denmark. The primary purpose of the pilot plant was to test carbon capture technologies and optimise the energy integration with the district heating network.

The pilot plant will be replaced by a demonstration plant capable of capturing almost 4 tonnes of CO2 per day. At the demonstration plant, the captured CO2 will be compressed so that it can be used in the food industry and other industries as well as for the production of fuels, storage etc.

The Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) supports the project with DKK 30 million, and the remaining DKK 30 million are funded by ARC, the joint municipal enterprise which owns Amager Bakke, and the partners, including Ramboll.

Reducing energy consumption

Ramboll’s responsibility on the project is to net zero energy-optimise the plant, which means that the plant will net produce as much energy with carbon capture as it does without it. This has been technically challenging and has required Ramboll to develop new concepts in joint effort with ARC and the suppliers, resulting in a 30 percent reduction of the energy consumption for the carbon capture process. Thus, through this project, Ramboll has gained several new competencies as well as tools for optimising carbon capture plants.

On the road to negative emissions

Research, development and pilot projects such as these pave the way for commercial use of the technology and may ultimately result in the waste sector not only eliminating its own CO2 emissions but also contributing to negative emissions. The use of this new technology can thus help to create a new role for the waste-to-energy plants.

Technologically, the solution is within reach. Multiple promising projects are expected to be and have been investigated and many Danish incineration plants are already equipped with flue gas condensation, which is a natural first step in the carbon capture process. Danish waste-to-energy plants also have the opportunity to utilise the waste heat produced by the carbon capture process.

The world needs solutions for the same challenges which are present in Denmark. This visionary approach to the waste-to-energy sector in Denmark could help to place the country in an international leading position in carbon capture.

It is ARC’s plan to build a full-scale plant after the pilot and demonstration-scale plants, which will be completed during 2025 and capture up to 95% of the total CO2 that Amager Bakke emits. This equals 500,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, corresponding to 1% of Danish CO2 emissions

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