The Carbon Corner - Issue #89

In this week's newsletter, we delve into groundbreaking developments in carbon capture and storage and carbon removal technologies. From Germany's Federal Cabinet approving a new carbon management strategy to global oil majors spearheading CCS projects in Indonesia, the landscape of carbon capture is rapidly evolving. We also explore how BeZero Carbon's pioneering rating system is revolutionizing the evaluation of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) projects, providing transparency and accountability in the crucial journey toward climate neutrality.

Join us as we catch up on this news and more!

UVA Researchers Unveil Scalable Carbon Capture Breakthrough with MOF-525

Researchers at the University of Virginia have unveiled a groundbreaking method for fabricating MOF-525, a material adept at capturing and converting carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals. This innovative approach, led by Assistant Professor Gaurav “Gino” Giri's team, uses a scalable technique called solution shearing, which enables large-scale application of MOF-525. This development not only promises significant environmental benefits by addressing greenhouse gas emissions but also offers energy advantages by converting CO2 into useful products like carbon monoxide for manufacturing fuels and pharmaceuticals.

The unique properties of MOF-525, part of the metal-organic framework class, lie in its ultra-porous crystalline structure, which acts like a sponge to trap various chemical compounds. The process involves mixing MOF components in a solution and spreading them across a substrate with a shearing blade, forming a thin film as the solution evaporates. This method allows for the creation of extensive membranes capable of both capturing and converting carbon dioxide, enhancing the material's efficiency and potential applications.

Illinois Passes Pioneering SAFE CCS Act to Boost Carbon Capture and Sequestration

On May 26, Illinois passed the groundbreaking SAFE CCS Act, setting new standards for carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) within the state. This comprehensive legislation introduces stringent requirements for CO2 pipeline development, emergency response planning, and a robust permitting program for sequestration projects, ensuring thorough oversight and safety. The Act defines "pore space" for sequestration, mandating operators secure rights from at least 75% of affected landowners and obtain a federal Class VI well permit before use.

Additionally, the Act requires CO2 pipeline operators to receive a certificate of authority from the Illinois Commerce Commission, which must verify compliance with updated safety standards. Emergency response for CCS projects now falls under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, enhancing training and enforcement capabilities. The Act also introduces a new permitting regime through the Illinois EPA, requiring comprehensive evaluations and reports beyond federal standards, while specifying that operators, not the state, hold liability for sequestration-related damages.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed support and plans to sign the legislation, paving the way for Illinois to become a leader in safe and effective carbon sequestration.

Indonesia Poised to Become Southeast Asia’s Carbon Capture Hub with Major Projects by ExxonMobil and BP

Global oil giants ExxonMobil and BP are spearheading a series of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Indonesia, aiming to establish the country as Southeast Asia's premier hub for this emerging industry. Pertamina, Indonesia's state-owned oil company, has teamed up with ExxonMobil and Korea National Oil Corp. to develop a $2 billion carbon storage site near an oil field in Sumatra, with a capacity to hold up to 3 billion tonnes of CO2. This project highlights Indonesia's significant potential for carbon storage, positioning it as a leader in industrial decarbonization in the region.

BP, along with other partners, is advancing plans to launch Indonesia's first carbon capture facility in West Papua province. This $2.6 billion facility, set to begin operations in 2026, will sequester CO2 from nearby natural gas production and from other sources across the country and abroad, with a storage capacity of 1.8 billion tonnes.

Germany Advances Carbon Capture Strategy to Achieve Climate Neutrality by 2045

Germany's Federal Cabinet has approved a major initiative to incorporate carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, primarily targeting hard-to-abate sectors. This move is part of a broader Carbon Management Strategy and involves revising the Carbon Storage Act to enable CO2 transportation via pipelines and offshore storage, excluding protected marine areas. Federal Minister Robert Habeck emphasized that this policy is crucial for achieving Germany’s climate neutrality goals by 2045 and aligning with European standards.

The draft legislation will be reviewed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat, aiming to facilitate CCS/CCU applications in power generation using gaseous fuels or biomass, while coal-based facilities will be excluded from CO2 pipeline access. Additionally, Germany will continue its coal phase-out plan, focusing on renewable energy expansion and new gas-fired power stations transitioning to hydrogen.

BeZero Carbon Launches Industry-First Rating for BECCS Projects, Pioneering Carbon Removal Transparency

Global carbon ratings agency BeZero Carbon has launched the industry’s first rating system for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage projects, marking a significant milestone in the carbon removal sector. One of the first BECCS projects, an ethanol production facility in North America, received a ‘BBB’ BeZero Carbon Rating, indicating a moderate likelihood of meeting its climate claims of removing CO₂ from the atmosphere. This project is notable as the first ethanol production facility to generate carbon removal credits for sale in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM).

BeZero Carbon's assessment, the only available rating in the BECCS sector, underscores the importance of large-scale engineered carbon removal to meet climate targets. With estimates suggesting that annual demand for durable engineered carbon removal could reach up to 200 million tonnes of CO₂e by 2030, the BECCS sector is poised to play a critical role. The sector aims to remove up to 5 billion tonnes of CO₂e by 2050, and as of May 2023, it has already removed approximately 260,000 tonnes.

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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