Capturing Carbon for Use or Storage

Carbon Capture Technologies

From flue to blue hydrogen

Global warming and climate change concerns are intensifying global efforts to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. Increasingly, attention is focusing on the need to remove CO2 from the flue gases released by several processes in countless industries including power, chemicals and steel. Carbon capture is a key strategy in meeting today’s CO2 emission reduction targets.

Carbon capture targets the removal of CO2 from flue gases across various industries.

Carbon capture strategies

There are three different carbon capture strategies to choose from, depending on the source of the gas:

  1. Pre-combustion, combining upstream gasification of fuel with pre-combustion separation of the CO2
  2. Oxyfuel combustion, combusting the fuel with pure oxygen to create mainly steam and CO2, which can be easily separated from the flue gas
  3. Post-combustion, where the CO2 is scrubbed from the flue gas following combustion

Many chemical applications rely on CO2 scrubbing. Oxyfuel technology is an ideal way to increase the efficiency of combustion processes in new power plants. And post-combustion capture (PCC) is targeted specifically at flue gas in existing power plants, typically using a solvent to chemically absorb the CO2 from the flue gases after the combustion process.

The captured gas can be further purified and liquefied for commercial use – for example, as food-grade CO2 for the production of food and beverages, as a feedstock for the production of commodities like methanol or urea or in greenhouses. Alternatively, it can be stored underground (sequestered) as a carbon abatement measure.

Captured CO2 can serve many industries downstream.

One step to low-carbon hydrogen

Blue Hydrogen is produced by applying a carbon capture step into the production of hydrogen via steam methane reforming. With this additional step, up to 95% of the carbon can be captured, resulting in low-carbon hydrogen. Please see the diagram below for reference.

Various shades of blue: SMR COcapture options.