Lab

Energy and CO2 research group

About the lab

⬛ H2 PRODUCTION AND CO2 UTILIZATION THROUGH POWER-TO-GAS

To promote the production of H2 and provide alternatives for the use of CO2 in industry through Power-to-Gas technology.

⬛ USE OF BIOMASS WITH CO2 CAPTURE (NEGATIVE EMISSIONS)

To improve the energy efficiency of the use of biomass with CCS, especially in oxy-combustion and hydroxy-combustion processes.

⬛ THERMODYNAMIC CHARACTERIZATION OF ANTROPHOGENIC CO2 FOR CCS TECHNOLOGY

To evaluate the feasibility of the transport, injection and storage of CO2 from oxy-bio processes.

⬛ AUTOMOTIVE CO2 CAPTURE PROCESSES AND CNG UTILIZATION

To capture CO2 in situ to later convert it into synthetic methane that can be used again in vehicles.

Featured projects (3)

Project
- Prototype demonstration of capacity for energy storage. System tested at TRL5. - Successful calcination at prototype scale by means of flash calcination technology. - Successful carbonator design with possibility for the scale-up. Integration of high temperature carbonator (>700ºC) and Stirling engine for power production. - Particles attrition, agglomeration and fouling analysis. Successful solids conveying and control system management. - Study of CaO precursor and process conditions to allow high and stable multicycle activity.
Project
The overall objective of the project is the development of a hybrid technology for storage of renewable energy with CO2 captured using oxy-fuel for the production of synthetic natural gas neutral in CO2 emissions. It is based on the union of an electrolyser operating with surplus renewable electricity (wind, solar) to produce H2 and O2 and a biomass oxy-fuel system for thermal power generation (without energy penalty because it requires no O2 production). The combustion gases formed by CO2 and H2O are used, in conjunction with the H2 generated in the electrolyzer, to produce CO2 neutral renewable synthetic methane. The project focuses on the design, construction and testing of a methanizer laboratory scale (equivalent to an electrolyser of 10 kW) which is the main element. It is intended to characterize the experimental production of CH4 under different operating conditions and to quantify the energy yields and the quality of product gas.
Project
(1) To design, simulate and optimize the integrated layout of the novel proposed concept, which combines Power to Gas with iron/steel industries operating in oxy-fuel combustion regime. (2) To assess the maximum feasible CO2 abatement under advanced control strategies adapted to the requirements of the iron/steel industry and the availability of the renewable energy resource. (3) To compare the proposed concept with iron/steel industries operating with conventional CCS (amine carbon capture and underground storage), under life-cycle analysis and economic assessment.

Featured research (5)

The utilization of power to gas technologies to store renewable electricity surpluses in the form of hydrogen enables the integration of the gas and electricity sectors allowing the decarbonization of the natural gas network through green hydrogen injection. Nevertheless, the injection of significant amounts of hydrogen may lead to high local concentrations that may degrade materials (e.g. hydrogen embrittlement of pipelines) and in general be not acceptable for the correct and safe operation of appliances. Most countries have specific regulations to limit hydrogen concentration in the gas network. The methanation of hydrogen represents a potential option to facilitate its injection into the grid. However, stoichiometric methanation will lead to a significant presence of carbon dioxide, limited in gas networks, and requires an accurate design of several reactors in series to achieve relevant concentrations of methane. These requirements are smoothed when the methanation is undertaken under non-stoichiometric conditions (high H/C ratio). This study aims to assess to influence of non-stoichiometric methanation under different H/C ratios on the limitations presented by the pure hydrogen injection. The impact of this injection on the operation of the gas network at local level has been investigated and the fluid-dynamics and the quality of gas blends have been evaluated. Results show that non-stoichiometric methanation could be an alternative to increase the hydrogen injection in the gas network and facilitates the gas and electricity sector coupling. Your article link: https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0306-2619(21)01687-1
In this paper we present the first systematic review of Power to X processes applied to the iron and steel industry. These processes convert renewable electricity into valuable chemicals through an electrolysis stage that produces the final product or a necessary intermediate. We have classified them in five categories (Power to Iron, Power to Hydrogen, Power to Syngas, Power to Methane and Power to Methanol) to compare the results of the different studies published so far, gathering specific energy consumption, electrolysis power capacity, CO2 emissions, and technology readiness level. We also present, for the first time, novel concepts that integrate oxy-fuel ironmaking and Power to Gas. Lastly, we round the review off with a summary of the most important research projects on the topic, including relevant data on the largest pilot facilities (2–6 MW).
Power-to-Gas (PtG) represents one of the most promising energy storage technologies. PtG converts electricity surplus into synthetic natural gas by combining water electrolysis and CO2 methanation. This technology valorises captured CO2 to produce a ‘carbon neutral’ natural gas, while allowing temporal displacement of renewable energy. PtG-Oxycombustion hybridization is proposed to integrate mass and energy flows of the global system. Oxygen, comburent under oxy-fuel combustion, is commonly produced in an air separation unit. This unit can be replaced by an electrolyser which by-produces O2 reducing the electrical consumption and the energy penalty of the carbon separation process. The aim of this work is to present the design, construction and testing of a methanation reactor at laboratory scale to increase the knowledge of the key component of this system. Experimental data are used to validate the theoretical kinetic model at different operating temperatures implemented in Aspen Plus. CO2 conversions about 60-80% are found for catalyst temperature between 350 and 550 ºC. These values agree well with expected theoretical conversions from the kinetic model.
Ca-Looping represents one of the most promising technologies for thermochemical energy storage. This process based on the carbonation-calcination cycle of CaO offers a high potential to be coupled with solar power plants for its long-term storage capacity and high temperatures. Previous studies analyzed different configurations of CaL integrated into power cycles aiming to improve efficiency. However, most of these assessments based on lumped models did not account for scale effect in the most critical reactor. In this work, a detailed 1D-model of a large-scale carbonator is included in the comprehensive model of the integrated facility. The results obtained served to assess the available heat, the minimum technical part load of this equipment, the required size of the storage tanks and the overall efficiency of the plant. The main issue in the operation of large-size carbonator is the heat removal, thus a multi-tube internally cooled reactor is proposed. The designed carbonator provides 80 MWth at nominal operation and 40 MWth at minimum part load operation. The sizing of storage tanks depends on the operation management, ranging between 5,700-11,400 m3 for 15 hours. Different efficiencies of the system were defined and presented through operating maps, as a function of the reactor loads.
The global carbon emissions from the tertiary sector have increased during the last years, becoming a target sector for carbon capture technologies. This study analyzes the potential application of a carbon capture system (CCS) to the usage of biogas from a livestock waste treatment plant (LWTP) and solid biomass. The proposed BECCS system fulfils the requirement of energy demands of the LWTP and generates electricity. The CCS is sized to consume the biogas produced and the selected operation parameters ensure a high capture efficiency. The BECCS is completed by a Rankine cycle fed by solid biomass and waste heat from the capture process is sized and implemented to produce electricity and steam. The proposed concept handles 1534 kW of solid biomass and 1398 kW of biogas to produce 746.20 kWe and cover the heat demand of a LWTP, 597 kWth. The avoided CO2 emissions sum up to 1620 ton CO2/year. The economic calculations show the limitation of this concept deployment under current prices of electricity and CO2 allowances. Results show the potential feasibility under future scenarios with 5 to 6 payback periods whenever public policies support the use of CCS and EU ETS evolves towards higher prices of carbon allowances.

Lab head

Luis M. Romeo
Department
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering

Members (6)

Pilar Lisbona
  • University of Zaragoza
Begoña Peña
  • University of Zaragoza
Eva Llera-Sastresa
  • University of Zaragoza
Manuel Bailera
  • University of Zaragoza
Sara Pascual Sevilla
  • University of Zaragoza
Jorge Perpiñán
  • University of Zaragoza
Luis I. Díez
Luis I. Díez
  • Not confirmed yet

Alumni (3)

Yolanda Lara
  • CIRCE Institute - Universidad de Zaragoza
Ana Martínez
  • ITAINNOVA - Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón