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Impact of CO2 impurity on compression, liquefaction & transportation

Impact of CO2 impurity on compression, liquefaction & transportation

Investigating the effects of impurities in carbon dioxide.

Project leader

Dr Ben Wetenhall


2013 to 2015

Project staff

Academic staff

  • University of Strathclyde
    • Dr Julia Race
  • University of Edinburgh
    • Dr Hannah Chalmers
    • Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari
    • Dr Jia Li
  • School of Engineering
    • Dr Simon Benson


  • School of Engineering
    • Dr Hamed Agnajani


International Energy Agency


Different carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies produce different concentrations and combinations of impurities in captured CO2. For example, oxyfuel combustion capture technology can produce CO2 containing the highest amount of impurities.

Impurities in captured CO2 influence the physical properties. In turn, this will affect the energy required for CO2 compression. At high pressure, impurities like sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) form sulphuric and nitric acid in the presence of water. This will corrode the CO2 compression equipment.

The previous study by IEAGHG on CO2 compression did not evaluate the effect of impurities. The levels of impurities were very low. Thus, we need to explore the impact of CO2 impurities on the power consumption and performance of CO2 compression and liquefaction processes.

We will review CO2 impurities from different CO2 capture methods. This will allow us to develop scenarios of levels of impurities which may be present.

We will evaluate these scenarios for CO2 physical properties.

We will investigate the effects of CO2 impurities on CO2 compression and liquefaction.

We will identify the effects of impurities on CO2 transportation (pipeline and ship) operational issues. These include optimum CO2 pressure and temperature.

We will evaluate the effects of impurities on CO2 pipeline safety issues such as fracture, rupture and required safeguards.