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Capture and storage of CO2 

Endesa is committed to becoming a leader in reducing carbon emission technology, by carrying out numerous CO2 capture and storage projects:

GEACO Project

Endesa is developing the GEACO project "Geophysical techniques applied to the characterisation of CO2 storage sites in deep saline aquifers". The project is being developed within the geographical area of the investigation permits in force pursuant to Spanish Law 40/2010 on the Geologic Storage of CO2, which Endesa has in the provinces of León, Valladolid and Palencia. The project began in 2014 and it will end in 2015.

The main aim of this project is to adapt and improve existing geophysical research technologies for the characterisation and establishment of a baseline for deep geologic formations, mainly deep saline aquifers, to be used as geological storage sites for CO2.

Apart from improving and adapting these technologies to be subsequently applied to similar projects, the project will also provide greater knowledge about the storage complex called "Duero" with a view to its future use as a deep geological CO2 storage site.

In order to reach these objectives, a series of initiatives are set to be carried out which include carrying out field work with the acquisition and interpretation of data from various geophysical techniques such as Magnetotellurics (MT) and Time Domain Electromagnetics (TDEM), among others.

The results obtained will enable us to make improved progress and increase the reliability of characterisation techniques for underground structures, which would result in considerable savings given the reduced number of exploratory drills that would need to be carried out to characterise future deep geologic formations.

This project has received public funding from the CDTI (Centre for Industrial Technological Development) with funds from the Financial Mechanism Office of the European Economic Area from the EEA Grants, which aims to reduce financial and social inequalities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) and the 16 beneficiary European Union countries, including Spain.

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Pilot Plant to capture CO2 using microalgae

Endesa first used microalgae CO2 fixation technology in the CENIT CO2 project (funded by CDTI). As a result of this project, a Spanish pilot plant was designed and built, the largest of its kind in Europe, using seawater and CO2 from the exhaust gases from the coastline coal-fired plant in Carboneras (Almeria).

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As a result of this technological development, the second phase of the pilot plant was built during the MENOS CO2 Project (funded by CDTI with ERDF funds) with the main aim of testing new types of photobioreactors and developing assessment processes for the biomass obtained.

Throughout 2014, significant activities were carried out as part of the EnerGetical project (funded via the Innpacto programme by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness), aimed mainly at developing microalgae production technologies for commercial purposes. To this end, during the project, genetic modification methods were investigated at laboratory scale, all the processes involved in the operation were optimised together with the plant maintenance, thus managing to increase the microalgae biomass capacity and the lipid and protein content thereof. Market studies, competences analysis and future commercialisation possibilities were also completed.

The microalgae pilot plant is currently in operation, with the main aim of marketing the microalgae biomass produced and developing recovery processes for high value-added compounds derived from the biomass obtained, such as proteins, fatty acids, carotenoids, etc.

La Pereda Project

Endesa, in collaboration with Hunosa and the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) have constructed an experimental 1 MW CO2 capture plant in La Pereda (Mieres-Asturias), next to the current thermoelectric plant in La Pereda, owned by HUNOSA. The plant, which was completed in 2012, uses limestone as a sorbent in a multi-cycle scheme of reversible reactions, calcination and carbonation . It has a capture capacity of eight tonnes of CO2 per day with efficiencies of around 90 per cent.

ReCaL and Ca02 Projects

Endesa, in collaboration with other European companies and research centres, heads the ReCaL and CaO2 projects, for the optimisation of the CO2 capture process by carbonation-calcination cycles. The main aim of these projects, which lead on from the work started by the La Pereda Project, is to manage to reduce the cost per tonne of CO2 capture by 30% with regard to the current state of the art for this technology, reducing the limestone consumption in the process. Both projects have received grants from the European RFCS research programme and they are carried out in this carbon capture pilot plant that Endesa owns together with the CSIC and HUNOSA in the thermoelectric plant in La Pereda.

La Pereda

La Pereda Plant for carbon capture using carbonation-calcination cycles.

Compostilla-OXY-CFB-300 Project

This is a global programme aimed at investigating CO2 capture and storage technologies, which brings together the efforts of public sector research initiatives against climate change and the private sector initiative represented by Endesa. The project, which ended in 2013, was the only one of its kind selected by the European Union to develop oxy-combustion technology in Circulating Fluidized-Bed (CFB) boilers with CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers. It received a €180 million grant for its initial technology validation phase and its development was endorsed by the European Energy Recovery Programme (EERP).

The initial phase saw the construction of a 30 MW plant to prove the validity of the capture technology and an experimental CO2 storage plant and the identification and characterisation of potential sites in Spain for industrial CO2 storage were also carried out.

All of this with the aim of validating the chosen technologies on a commercial scale, which will enable the renovation of the current fossil fuel thermal plants in the near future and the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, within the framework of the fight against climate change.

«Menos CO2 en Compostilla» Project

Endesa inaugurated the first plant in Spain for CO2 capture by chemical absorption using amine solution and the first CO2 capture facility integrated into a thermal plant, specifically that of Compostilla (León). The plant, which was in operation until 2013, enabled 800 m3/h of combustion gases to be treated and had a capture capacity of 3-5 tonnes of CO2 per day with efficiencies of 90 per cent.