ComputIT helps to improve CO2 safety

A strong international research effort has been put into the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies as a strategy for reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industry and power generation. When processing, transporting and storing large quantities of CO2, there is a risk of hazardous releases of CO2 into the surroundings from blowdown vents and accidental releases from process equipment, pipelines and storage tanks or caverns. A release of concentrated CO2 will typically follow the contours of the terrain and accumulate in pits, valleys and lower-lying grounds and consequently represent a significant hazard to people and life in these areas. To predict consequences of accidental CO2 releases in general and to perform safety assessments of CCS facilities and infrastructures in particular, reliable simulation tools for detailed prediction of CO2 dispersion in realistic, complex environments are needed.

In a 2-year R&D project sponsored by the Research Council of Norway and Statoil, ComputIT has developed an advanced industrial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulator for detailed consequence analyses of CO2 dispersion in realistic geometries and terrain from vents and accidental releases. The simulator is based on new models and development of the KAMELEOEN FIREEX KFX® CFD tool, which is recognized by major operators in the risk management industry and the petroleum industry as the leading and preferred predictive technology for fire and gas dispersion under realistic conditions. A major result of the project is the KFX™ tool's improved ability to predict CO2 dispersion for realistic CCS relevant conditions, including the possibility of three-dimensional transient multiphase flow of CO2 into the surroundings.

The figure below shows a visualization of a high-pressure release of CO2 predicted by KAMELEON FIREEX KFX®.

Figure: KFX™ predicted concentrations of CO2 in a vertical cross-section through a high-pressure (155 bar) release of CO2. The high-pressure liquid release results in multiphase dispersion of gas and solid particles, including subsequent sublimation of the CO2 particles.

 

In the project, the simulaton tool was validated against a range of experimental data from both wind tunnel experiments and large-scale CCS relevant field experiments. The results showed that the present version of KAMELEON FIREEX KFX® is capable of producing reliable predictions of CO2 dispersion from CCS relevant releases. 

The success of the project has also been highlighted in an article (in Norwegian) published by the Research Council of Norway under the CLIMIT program - Norway's national program for research, development, piloting and demonstration of CCS technologies for power generation and other industrial sources.

By utilization of ComputIT competence and advanced KFX™ simulation technology in design, construction and operation of CCS plants and infrastructure, CCS safety can be improved and potential hazards and negative environmental impacts can be reduced or eliminated in a cost-effective way.

Contact person: Dr. Kjell Erik Rian, email: computit@computit.no

 

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