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RWE’s Coal Innovation Centre

Brief description:

RWE Power’s Coal Innovation Centre in Niederaussem is based at its modern lignite-fired power station, which came online in 2003. The company aims to conduct its research projects for reducing and using CO2 at the plant as part of its technology programme. Its overall aim is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coal-based power generation, and has earmarked around €90 million in the coming years for R&D into CO2 reduction and conversion technologies.

Besides specific projects that practically go straight from the lab to the workbench, the centre is designed to give international experts a platform for exchanging ideas. From 2009 and in collaboration with the RWTH Aachen Technical University, the Juelich Research Centre and the TÜV Rheinland technical inspection agency, it has held practice-related symposia with international experts and students from the region. Four major projects are already up and running, such as a prototype plant, to test pre-drying lignite using the fluidised-bed method, which has the potential to increase efficiency rates in power generation using lignite by 10% to over 47%. In a joint project with BASF, Linde and RWE Power, a pilot plant for CO2 scrubbing is operated at Niederaussem as well as a pilot algae plant.