Innovation piloting

Our pilot plants

An important part of the AURORA project is to test the CESAR1 solvent in three different existing pilot plants, which differ in their capacity in order to verify scale effects, as well as in their test characteristics:

CO2 laboratory, Tiller – SINTEF

SINTEF - Tiller laboratory

The CO2 laboratory at Tiller in Trondheim, Norway is a highly equipped test facility for development of post-combustion CO2 capture technologies, as well as a research lab for flue gas pre-treatment analysis and emission research. It is highly flexible and designed for testing different solvents at various flue gas conditions.

Mobile Test Unit – Aker Carbon Capture

Aker Carbon Capture - MTU

The Mobile Test Unit (MTU) owned by Aker Carbon Capture is a modular CO2 capture test facility. It is easy to transport and integrate with existing process plant facilities, and it generates representative data for industrial CO2 capture applications. 

Technology Center Mongstad – TCM

TCM - Complex industrial park

Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) is the world’s largest test centre for developing CO2 capture technologies and one of the leading competence centres for carbon capture. TCM is located at a complex industrial facility at the Western coast of Norway. 

Our experiment

There are currently various carbon capture routes, which fall into three categories: pre-combustion, post-combustion and oxy-combustion processes.

As post-combustion is the easiest way to integrate carbon capture into existing plants, it has been widely developed in recent years and is well placed for large-scale deployment.


While solid adsorbents and membrane systems struggle to achieve the combined objective of a 90% capture rate and 95% purity, chemical absorption processes can achieve even higher CO2 capture rates than the 90% currently deployed, and even close to 100% without significantly increasing the relative heat input. What’s more, the purity of the CO2 produced in these systems is intrinsically high (over 99%).

However, absorption-based technology needs to be improved, mainly to reduce costs while guaranteeing the absence of any significant environmental impact.

Therefore, in order to rapidly translate research and innovation into impacts and enable the adoption of CCUS in CO2-intensive industries in a short timeframe, AURORA partners will optimize and qualify a non-proprietary solvent (CESAR1) and its associated process, and bring them to a level from which first-of-a-kind plants can be considered as the next step.

This will be achieved due to the following innovations:

Holistic optimisation of solvent composition, process design, emission monitoring and control, and solvent management.

Validated models for use in commercial process simulators.

Enhanced waste heat integration with carbon capture for reduced external heat demand and operational costs.

Improved and integrated advanced control system for reduced OPEX and optimised performances.

These innovations will be integrated into four optimized capture processes, and various aspects will be demonstrated in pilot projects of varying size and complexity. The partners will ensure the transferability of the results to other CO2-intensive industries, thanks to the wide range of CO2 sources and developed groups addressed in the project, as well as the strong involvement of stakeholders. The project will also carry out comprehensive evaluations of the CCUS chain for its end-users. It should be noted that the end-users are located in two different regions of Europe, offering different conditions for the implementation of CCUS value chains.

Take closer look at the progress of the AURORA experiment on end-user sites…