Schaper Energy Consulting

The Carbon Corner - Issue #67

Published 5 months ago • 4 min read

Welcome to 2024, a year filled with promising developments and initiatives in the realm of carbon capture and climate change mitigation.

In this blog post, we're excited to bring you a glimpse of some recent stories that highlight ongoing efforts to combat global warming and reduce carbon emissions. From the University of Alaska's innovative research into carbon capture from coal power plants to the collaboration between Topsoe and Essar Oil UK for a cutting-edge carbon capture facility, these stories showcase the growing commitment to environmentally friendly technologies and practices.

Major Investment Fuels Standard Biocarbon's Biochar Production for Carbon Capture and More

Nexus Development Capital has made a significant investment of $5 million in Standard Biocarbon, a biochar producer with a focus on sustainable infrastructure projects. Biochar is a material derived from organic waste or biomass, with promising applications in climate change mitigation and soil quality enhancement. It is created by heating organic matter at high temperatures in a low-oxygen environment and has the unique ability to store carbon for thousands of years, making it a crucial tool for carbon capture and removal.

This investment will enable Standard Biocarbon to expand its operations at its Enfield, Maine facility, with plans to begin high-quality biochar production in early 2024. Their estimated annual production capacity is 16,000 cubic yards of biochar, capturing 3,000 tons of carbon annually. Biochar has gained traction recently due to its potential to capture up to 3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, reducing global emissions by up to 6%, as suggested by the International Biochar Institute.

Heirloom's Groundbreaking Direct Air Capture Facility Aims to Tackle Climate Change

In November 2023, Heirloom Carbon Technologies introduced its direct air capture (DAC) facility in Tracy, California, designed to remove up to 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere annually. This innovative technology plays a crucial role in combating global warming and keeping temperatures below the 1.5°C threshold. DAC is one of three main methods for carbon capture, alongside pre-combustion and post-combustion capture.

Heirloom's approach utilizes a cost-effective process involving limestone, calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and shorter carbonation cycles, dramatically reducing absorbent material costs. This method has accelerated carbonization from two weeks to three days, making it more efficient. Additionally, Heirloom employs modularity, allowing for uninterrupted CO2 collection even if a unit encounters issues. They've partnered with CarbonCure Technologies to store extracted CO2 in long-term infrastructure materials like concrete, achieving a carbon-negative facility powered entirely by renewable energy.

While carbon capture credits typically cost between $600 and $1,000 per tonne, Heirloom aims to lower their cost to $100 by 2035, thanks to government subsidies and tax credits. The US Department of Energy has also announced funding for two DAC facilities capable of removing 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually, signaling a growing investment in this technology.

University of Alaska to Research Carbon Capture Project with $9 Million Biden Grant

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is set to receive a $9 million grant from the Biden administration to fund research into a project focused on capturing carbon emissions from a proposed coal power plant in the Susitna Valley in Southcentral Alaska. The initiative aims to combat global warming by reducing carbon emissions. Carbon capture storage (CCS) is gaining attention at the state level, though critics argue it's expensive and might not have a significant impact on emissions. The concept behind CCS is to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the source, such as a power plant, and store it underground instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

The proposed project could involve running a pipeline up to 60 miles to transport CO2 to the Beluga River unit, where there's potential for carbon storage. Alaska's Governor Dunleavy has also proposed carbon credit legislation, aligning with carbon management strategies to profit from carbon storage.

Topsoe Collaborates with Essar Oil UK on Cutting-Edge Carbon Capture Facility

Danish clean technology firm Topsoe has inked a deal with Essar Oil UK, an energy company, to provide technology for Essar's upcoming $455 million carbon capture facility in North West England, expected to become operational by 2028. The facility will utilize Topsoe's SNOX technology to extract nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, dust, and other pollutants from the flue gas emitted at Essar's Stanlow refinery.

This endeavor is part of Essar's broader decarbonization strategy, which includes a $1.2 billion investment with the goal of becoming the world's first low-carbon refinery. Topsoe's SNOX technology, already used in various industries like refineries, power plants, and carbon black manufacturing, offers a means to eliminate contaminants from flue gases while avoiding waste generation and ocean discharge, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Norwegian Approval Paves the Way for First Arctic Carbon Capture Project with PGNiG and Horisont Energi

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy has granted approval for PGNiG Upstream Norway, a subsidiary of Poland's ORLEN Group, to serve as the operator in partnership with Norwegian energy company Horisont Energi for the first Arctic carbon capture and storage project. This approval is a significant milestone for the Polaris project, as stated by Horisont Energi, which is currently in advanced discussions with Germany's E.ON regarding CO2 storage capacity for the carbon storage license. The collaboration aims to capture carbon dioxide from the Barents Blue project and store it in the Arctic Polaris field.

Last December, PGNiG Upstream Norway became a license partner in the Arctic CO2 project through a sales and purchase agreement. In the CO2 exploration license EXL003, both PGNiG Upstream Norway and Horisont Energi hold a 50% stake.

The Polaris carbon storage project has the potential to store approximately 100 million tonnes of CO2, ensuring operation for 12 to 25 years. The project's development concept is expected to be selected in 2024, with the first carbon injection scheduled for late 2028 or early 2029.

Schaper Energy Consulting is a professional engineering firm offering carbon strategy services to CCS site developers. Check out some examples of our projects here:

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We hope you enjoyed reading this week and hope to see you back next week for more!

Schaper Energy Consulting

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