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Nov-2023

CCS and hydrogen for decarbonisation (ERTC 2023)

In the pursuit of global climate ambitions outlined in the Paris Agreement, the role of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen technologies has gained paramount significance in decarbonising carbon-intense industries, such as the refining and petrochemical industries.

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Article Summary

Ways to decarbonise the downstream industry
υ    CCS: Carbon capture from the largest emission points in a refinery can be a technologically straightforward solution to reduce emissions significantly. It can be implemented at any emission point, and economy of scale plays a crucial role: the larger the emission point, the better the business case for CCS. Equinor has been successfully implementing CCS since the mid-1990s, demonstrating that it is a safe and reliable way of reducing emissions into the atmosphere.

The Sleipner field has operated with CCS since 1996, while the Hammerfest facility has used it since 2008. Equinor has also operated the world’s largest carbon capture test centre since 2012, located next to its refinery at Mongstad.

We have extensive experience with CCS and aim to expand its scope to help third parties store their CO₂. There is a pressing need to decarbonise the refining and petrochemical industry. We believe there are significant opportunities for CO₂ storage in Northern Europe, and we are committed to helping the industry meet its climate goals.

ϖ    Hydrogen: Low-carbon hydrogen is essentially conventionally produced hydrogen, known as grey hydrogen, combined with CCS. It can be used instead of the hydrogen currently utilised in the refining and petrochemical industry, thereby reducing emissions throughout the value chain.

What is even more noteworthy is that hydrogen can be used to replace conventional fuels, removing CO₂ from the fuel before entering the relevant facilities. This allows the economy of scale to be in the production of hydrogen instead of capturing CO₂ from a single-source emission point in a facility. Preparing a facility to use hydrogen may be cheaper than collecting CO₂ emissions from several small emission points. Determining the best solution to decarbonise – hydrogen or CCS – depends on various factors, including the industry, facility, and geopolitical dependencies. The availability of infrastructure throughout the value chain of CCS and large-scale hydrogen will also affect which solution to use. Equinor will delve into this topic in its presentation titled ‘CCS and Low Carbon Hydrogen for Downstream industry’.

This short article originally appeared in the 2023 ERTC Newspaper, which you can VIEW HERE


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