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Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

Refiners have different options at their disposal to mitigate CO2 emissions including carbon capture and storage, which is also referred to as carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS. A related concept to CCS is carbon capture, utilization & storage or (CCUS) wherein the captured CO2 is either sequestered in long-term storage or used in various industries to generate revenue with CO2 eventually released back into the atmosphere. The capture methods used are commonly grouped into three technological categories: pre-combustion, oxy-combustion, and post-combustion. It is thought that as the price to emit CO2 rises, energy intensive industries like refining will find CCS more worthy of investment.

How it will benefit you

Carbon capture is most suitable for four main emission sources in refineries. These are hydrogen production processes, fluid catalytic cracking, and the combustion of fuel in process heaters as well as in plants for onsite steam and electricity production. Refiners may not be able to determine whether to invest in CCS at the present stage. However, they can position themselves to be ready to invest when the time comes. That is, refiners can, with reasonable confidence, locate the most desirable areas for carbon capture in their plants, consider which capture technology to employ, and complete initial cost estimates.

While absorption processes are well established for carbon capture, research is ongoing aimed at lowering costs in terms of both capital and operating expenses as well as boosting process reliability. This has prompted the development of technologies that include heat integration between the source of the CO2 emissions and the capture system. Also, focus has been directed towards the use of new solvents formulations or solvent modifications that provide benefits such as increased CO2 capture and reduced degradation, regeneration stripping stream requirements, and solvent circulation rates. In addition, research has been conducted into the production of more effective membranes used to capture CO2. And, current attention is directed towards the development of enzymes, ionic liquids, and nonaqueous or water-lean solvents for carbon capture as well as chemical looping and oxy-combustion processes.

What does it include

The current study, completed in 2Q 2021, begins with a summary of GHG reduction goals and the incentives and penalties that are being implemented to meet these targets as well as the carbon capture investments that are planned by oil and gas companies as they attempt to survive the energy transition.

Also provided is a comprehensive list of state-of-the-art technologies including Air Liquide Engineering & Construction’s Cryocap, Cryocap FG, aMDEA, Rectisol, and cold membrane technologies; Aker Carbon Capture’s Advanced Carbon Capture (ACC) process; DMX marketed by Axens for post-combustion CO2 capture and the company’s EnergizedMDEA technology; BASF’s OASE white amine scrubbing technology; Fluor's Econamine FG Plus technology and the Fluor Solvent process; the UOP Benfield process, Ortloff CO2 Fractionation, SELEXOL, and the UOP SeparALL process offered by Honeywell UOP; Johnson Matthey’s Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCH) process for blue hydrogen production; Linde’s Post Combustion Capture (PCC) and RECTISOL technologies; ADIP ULTRA, the CANSOLV CO2 Capture System, and the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process (SBHP) from Shell Catalysts & Technologies; Union Engineering’s patented FlashCO2 technology; HiCapt+ for post-combustion FCC flue gas CO2 capture from IFP Energies Nouvelles and Prosernat; the Mixed-Salt Process (MSP) licensed by Baker Hughes; CDRMax developed by Carbon Clean Solutions Ltd.; Fluor’s physical solvent process called Fluor EconoSolv for gasification applications; the Chilled Ammonia Process (CAP) from GE; Global Thermostat LLC's technology; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s proprietary KM CDR (Kansai Mitsubishi Carbon Dioxide Recovery) process; Reliance Industries Ltd.’s hydrated sorbent process for CO2 capture (HSC); and CO2 capture technology acquired by Saipem.

The study also includes a discussion of plant operations and practices including a stepwise approach for refinery carbon capture, the use of amino acid salts for CO2 capture, the use of flue gas heat recovery for amine-based carbon capture, the optimization of the separation equipment used for syngas, and the revamping of a hydrogen plant to lower the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and reduce feed consumption while maintaining the hydrogen output.

And, to plot future directions, the study gathers and reviews the latest patent applications and research papers regarding carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology including capture methods applied to reformer flue gas and PSA tail gas; innovations for the flue gas of a FCCU regenerator; CO2 capture methods and systems for gasification and non-gasification combustion applications; absorption, adsorption, membrane separation and cryogenic separation inventions designed for power plants, and more.

Publication details

Publication frequency

Single publication

Publication format

Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file


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