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Air Products heralds successful operation of project to capture CO2 from hydrogen production for use in enhanced oil recovery

Air Products heralded the successful operation of a US Department of Energy (DOE) demonstration project that will capture approximately one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from hydrogen production for use in an enhanced oil recovery project in which DOE anticipates an additional estimated 1.6-3.1 million barrels of oil to be produced annually from the CO2 injection. The technology in the demo—the first of its kind operating at such a large scale—has not been accomplished anywhere else in the United States.

Vacuum Swing Adsorption (VSA) process for CO2 separation. Click to enlarge.

Air Products’ carbon capture project in Port Arthur, Texas captures 90% of the CO2 via Vacuum Swing Adsorption from 2 steam-methane reformers (SMRs) yielding 1,000,000 tons CO2/year. A ≈28 MWe cogeneration unit supplies makeup steam to SMRs and operates the VSA and Compression Equipment. The captured and purified CO2 is then transported in its gaseous state by Air Products via a pipeline owned by Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC for injection into the Denbury Onshore operated West Hastings Unit, an enhanced oil recovery project in Texas.

The CO2 removal technology was retrofitted to the SMRs, which produce hydrogen to assist in the making of cleaner burning transportation fuels by refinery customers on Air Products’ Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network. Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels specifications.

DOE provided 66% ($284 million) of the funding for the $431-million project, which is one of three in the Industrial Capture and Storage (ICCS) Area 1. The other two are (a) a project led by Archer Daniels Midland for CO2capture from biofuel production and subsequent sequestration; and (b) capture of CO2 from a petroleum-coke-to-chemicals (methanol and other by-products) gasification plant being developed by Lake Charles Cogeneration, LLC (a Leucadia Energy, LLC, affiliate).

In June 2010, Air Products was selected to receive $253 million in funding from DOE through the National Energy Technology Laboratory under the ICCS Program, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for this project. It later received an additional $30 million from DOE through the ARRA for final engineering, design, construction, and project operation through September 2015.

Air Products has also worked on other carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects around the world for the power market. These projects include:

  • The world’s first full demonstration of oxyfuel CCS with Vattenfall AB, one of Europe’s leading energy companies. Air Products installed its proprietary CO2 capture, purification, and compression system at Vattenfall’s facility in Schwarze Pumpe, Germany, viewed globally as the preeminent CO2 oxyfuel project.

  • In collaboration with the Alberta Energy Research Institute, a study focused on advanced CO2 capture technology for use with gasification.

  • In cooperation with DOE, Air Products designed and constructed a CO2 purification system in support of oxyfuel technology development at a boiler-simulation facility in Connecticut.

  • Air Products demonstrated oxyfuel sour compression technology in work by Imperial College London with flue gas from a 160 kilowatt coal-fired combustion installation at Doosan Babcock’s facility in Scotland, as part of the Oxycoal-UK Project.




Assuming an extra $200 million in production sounds useful.

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