A consortium of 11 European stakeholders including French oil and gas company Total has launched a project to demonstrate a process to capture CO2 from industrial activities.

The DMX Demonstration in Dunkirk (3D) project is part of a comprehensive study aimed at developing a capture and storage cluster for the North Sea in Dunkirk.

The project is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation project and has a budget of $21.5m (€19.3m) including €14.8m in EU subsidies. The DMX process uses a solvent that reduces the energy consumption for CO2 capture by around 35% and the costs for capture by around 50% compared with the reference process.

In a statement, Total said: “The 3D project’s ambition is to validate replicable technical solutions and to achieve industrial deployment of capture and storage technology around the world.

“It should play a major role in enabling industries with high energy consumption and CO2 emissions, such as the steel industry, to reduce their emissions. This project is an essential lever for meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement on global warming.”

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the DMX process on an industrial scale at a pilot unit to be built starting in 2020 at the ArcelorMittal steelworks site in Dunkirk. This pilot unit is expected to capture 0.5 metric tonnes of CO2 an hour from operations at ArcelorMittal.

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Following this pilot, the consortium plans to implement a first industrial unit capable of capturing more than 125 metric tonnes of CO2 an hour at the same site to start operating in 2025. The development of this industrial unit will inform the design of the North Sea CO2 capture and storage cluster at Dunkirk, which is expected to be operational by 2035.

Total Senior Vice President and Group Chief Technology Officer Marie-Noelle Semeria said: Commercial-scale pilots, such as Dunkirk’s, are vital to make carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies more competitive, supporting the growth of the low-carbon industry.

“Total aspires to become a major player in CCUS technologies, which are vital to achieving carbon neutrality in the second half of the century, and we are happy to be involved alongside our European partners.”