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The Carbon Corner - Issue #87

Published 25 days ago • 4 min read

In this week's focus on carbon capture and sequestration technologies, we explore groundbreaking developments that are setting new benchmarks in the fight against climate change.

Join us as we delve into the stories that are shaping the future of carbon capture!

European Commission Endorses Landmark Baltic Carbon Capture Project

The European Commission has recognized the CCS Baltic Consortium's carbon capture and transportation project in Lithuania and Latvia as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), highlighting its significance in meeting EU climate goals. This groundbreaking project, a collaborative effort involving Akmenės cementas, KN Energies, Larvik Shipping, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and SCHWENK Latvija SIA, aims to create a robust carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain in the region. The consortium's initiative, set to commence operations in 2030, is the first of its kind in the Baltic region, addressing the critical need for decarbonization in industries like cement production where a swift transition to renewable energy is challenging.

The PCI status not only underscores the project's importance but also makes it eligible for financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility, potentially accelerating its development. Despite current prohibitions on underground CO2 storage in Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia, the CCS project offers a viable solution for companies striving to meet decarbonization targets. Leaders from the consortium emphasize the project's role in contributing to a sustainable future, leveraging decades of expertise in CO2 transportation and storage. The CCS Baltic Consortium aims to provide a scalable, sustainable carbon capture solution that could transform the region's approach to industrial emissions and climate change mitigation.

Project 280 Earth: Pioneering New Horizons in Carbon Capture Technology

Project 280 Earth is revolutionizing climate change mitigation with its new direct air capture facility, currently being fine-tuned on land purchased from Port of The Dalles. The facility utilizes a novel continuous solid sorbent approach to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, transforming it into a liquid for disposal or utilization. This pioneering technique, developed by Jacques Gagne and his team, uses a silvery crumb made of amorphous silica combined with a chemical "secret sauce" to adsorb CO2, a method that doesn't require high temperatures and can largely operate on waste heat. The clean air is then released back into the atmosphere, providing widespread environmental benefits.

The project, which evolved from Alphabet's "Green Machine" initiative, is now an independent venture backed by outside investors since October 2022. The current prototype can capture 500 tons of CO2 annually, with plans for a neighboring facility to handle 5,000 tons and future expansions aiming for a total of 20,000 tons per year. The CO2 captured is stored securely in a two-mile-deep well or used to enhance concrete durability, while the process also produces water, which can be utilized for industrial cooling, such as reducing Google's data center water usage. Gagne's ultimate goal is to significantly expand this technology, contributing to the broader fight against climate change and securing a better future for the next generation.

Microsoft Secures Record Carbon Removal Deal with Stockholm Exergi

Microsoft has announced its largest carbon removal contract yet, agreeing to purchase 3.3 million metric tons of offsets over ten years from a new facility in Stockholm. The project, developed by Stockholm Exergi, will use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to remove up to 800,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, starting in 2028. This innovative approach captures CO2 emissions from burning waste for energy, which is then liquefied and sequestered underground for thousands of years.

This new deal follows Microsoft's ambitious efforts in fiscal 2023 to eliminate 5 million metric tons of emissions, significantly outpacing its previous commitments. The project will leverage existing biomass power plants, enhancing the efficiency of carbon capture while contributing to Stockholm's district heating network. Combined with public funding and additional corporate contracts, the initiative aims to bolster Sweden's national climate strategy and stimulate the economy.

Microsoft's investment highlights the growing importance of BECCS in Europe, where mature systems for managing waste biomass and stringent climate policies are driving the adoption of such technologies. By addressing both CO2 emissions and waste management, this project exemplifies a scalable and sustainable solution for carbon removal.

Aramco and Rondo Energy Join Forces to Advance Clean Industrial Energy Solutions

Aramco, a leading global energy and chemicals company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rondo Energy to explore the industrial-scale deployment of Rondo's innovative heat battery technology. This collaboration, initiated on May 16, aims to reduce operating costs and support Aramco's carbon emissions reduction goals by integrating Rondo's heat batteries into Aramco's facilities. The project envisions scaling up to 1 GWh and includes potential applications in hydrogen production and carbon capture, building on Aramco Ventures' equity investment in Rondo Energy last year.

Rondo's heat batteries, which store energy from wind and solar power, deliver continuous high-temperature energy essential for industrial processes. This partnership aligns with Aramco's ambition to achieve net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Additionally, the collaboration will explore innovative applications of the technology, such as large-scale solar desalination, offering lower carbon emissions and costs compared to traditional methods. The initiative also considers the potential for local manufacturing of energy storage solutions using Saudi Arabia's mineral resources.

The MoU signing, witnessed by U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, marks a significant step towards global clean energy innovation. Rondo Energy's CEO, John O'Donnell, expressed excitement about working with Aramco to deliver low-cost clean energy solutions, emphasizing the collaboration's potential to advance decarbonization efforts and meet critical global energy needs. This partnership highlights the U.S. Department of Energy's goal to enhance U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market while creating jobs and ensuring stable supply chains.

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

If you have questions or comments, please contact us at info@schaperintl.com.

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

Schaper Energy Consulting

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