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France: inauguration of the first industrial CO2 capture and storage site


On January 11, 2010, the inauguration of the first European pilot integrating the entire process of capturing and storing CO2, the main greenhouse gas responsible for the planetís global warming, will be held on the Lacq site in France.

Air Liquide is the technological partner of this industrial project operated by Total.

CO2 capture, transport and storage are promising approaches, pointed up by international experts, to preserving the planet and helping to fight climate change. These processes aid to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of industrial facilities that use fossil fuels (fuel oil, gas or coal) such as power plants, steel mills, cement factories, oil refineriesÖ

Air Liquide is contributing to this project by supplying the technology of CO2 capture by means of oxycombustion. This process consists in replacing the air in an industrial boiler by pure oxygen. The fumes obtained when they come out of the boiler are then very concentrated in CO2 (90%).

In the framework of this project, Air Liquide has developed burners designed for this technology and supplies the oxygen needed for oxycombustion through an on-site unit and the CO2 drying process, required for transport.

This CO2 is then transported to the Rousse geological storage site 27 km from the Lacq plant via pipeline, then injected 4,500 m deep into this former gas field.

Over the next two years, the industrial project plans to trap about 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide. This quantity of CO2 is equivalent to what is discharged by 40,000 vehicles during the same time period.

Air Liquide is involved in many other CO2 storage and capture pilot projects in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

Energy and the environment are two of the Groupís five growth drivers. Heavily involved in sustainable development, Air Liquide invests a significant share of its R&D* budget in solutions that aim at preserving life and the environment.

* 60% of its R&D budget in 2008


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