• What options are there for CO2 capture from a SMR based hydrogen unit?



  • Elena Petriaeva, BASF OASE Gas Treatment Excellence, elena.petriaeva@basf.com

    To meet the emission reduction targets required by 2050 under the Climate Change Act, energy sources will need to shift to an almost entirely carbon-free energy. That points to a larger role for hydrogen, which can be produced in low-carbon ways from electricity or with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

    Syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (H2 and CO), is produced on a large scale via steam reforming of natural gas and water. In the steam reforming process, carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced as a by-product and emitted from two different sources: as part of flue gas and as part of process gas.

    BASF’s OASE white is a proven amine scrubbing technology for deep CO2 removal from syngas and offers great energy efficiency and robust operation, achieving the minimum targeted process gas CO2 capture rate of up to 99.97 mass%. The treated syngas can be further separated into H2 and CO to be used as a key raw material for various products. OASE white technology has been successfully applied in many world scale ammonia plants, syngas plants for petrochemicals, and others such as steel production (see Figure 1).

    Moving forward, the use of pure hydrogen (H2) can support cleaner fuel for vehicles, whereas the high purity CO2 captured by OASE white can support direct carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) to manufacture chemical products on a commercial scale. CCS is also possible.

    For flue gas carbon capture, OASE blue technology was developed specifically as an optimised post-combustion capture technology with low energy consumption, low solvent losses, and a highly flexible operating range.

    A core task for the design of carbon capture technology is to reduce solvent loss by reason of economic efficiency and environmental friendliness. The development programme of BASF with OASE blue for flue gas CO2 emissions capture and OASE white for process gas CO2 emissions capture is demonstrating that, by combining two effective technologies, the target of lowest CO2 footprint overall is possible.