Hitachi & ASCO to supply CO2 liquefaction plant for innovative Swiss energy project

CO2 Energie AG, a subsidiary of Swiss energy company "Regionalwerke Baden" and "Recycling Energie AG" has joined forces with Hitachi Zosen Inova and ASCO Carbon Dioxide LTD. to develop a state-of-the-art installation for the separation and liquefaction of renewable carbon dioxide at an existing biogas plant. This groundbreaking initiative aims to make renewable by-products readily available for industrial applications, reducing the reliance on fossil carbon dioxide. By doing so, it takes a significant stride towards global climate protection and decarbonization efforts.

"This project brings together environmental and economic benefits," says Ralph Spring, CEO of ASCO Carbon Dioxide. “It’s a “first of its kind” project in Switzerland and we hope, that it will be used as best case example for future biogas or waste-to-power plants”, Spring adds. The existing biogas plant has been producing biogas, which is then upgraded into biomethane for the regional natural gas grid. However, with the new installation, CO2 that previously was released to the atmosphere, now will be captured and undergoes several steps of filtration and dehydration under high pressure. The plant has a processing capacity of 4,000 tons per year, promoting efficient carbon dioxide utilization and contributing to the substitution of fossil CO2.

In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, Recycling Energie AG and RWB have successfully collaborated in Nesselnbach. Recycling Energie AG produces raw gas, refined by RWB, and fed into the gas grid as biogas. Previously, the captured CO2 was released into the atmosphere, but now it will be diverted to the new plant for processing into liquid carbon dioxide. "With the new plant, we will be able to capture around 90 percent of the CO2 produced, which amounts to up to 3,000 tons of CO2 annually," stated a spokesperson. The new purification process will also eliminate residual methane, ensuring minimal environmental impact and maximizing sustainability.

The liquid CO2 is stored in large tanks at place before it is collected by Messer Schweiz AG, an industrial gases company based in Lenzburg, and sold on the national CO2 market. The applications of carbon dioxide range from industrial processes, medical technology, to its inclusion in various beverages within the food industry as carbonic acid. The new plant's contributions eliminate the need for additional fossil carbon dioxide production or imports from abroad.

The collaboration between Hitachi Zosen Inova and ASCO Carbon Dioxide AG represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. This pioneering project underscores the commitment to a greener, more sustainable future of both companies. Further joint projects for Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (CCUS) are already in the pipeline.


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