The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., has announced a major milestone: successfully capturing more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas.
Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the CO2 from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.
In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will be used to help produce additional, hard-to-access resources from existing nearby oil fields. In total, DOE projects have captured and securely stored nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year. In just the last year since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, these Department-supported projects have stored approximately 2.8 metric tons.
“To date, Energy Department projects have helped to capture and securely store nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere, helping to lay the groundwork for more widespread use of carbon sequestration,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Chris Smith. “Next-generation carbon capture technologies like those deployed at the Air Products facility are a crucial part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy approach, helping to ensure that we are powering our industries as efficiently, sustainably and cleanly as possible using all of America’s abundant energy resources.”
Air Products’ vacuum swing adsorption project, supported through the Department’s Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, is one of several ICCS projects advancing and deploying CCS technologies at commercial and utility-scale. Construction of the facility was completed in March 2013, on time and under budget.
Using Port Arthur CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery
In addition to demonstrating their vacuum swing adsorption technology, Air Products is also helping verify that enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is an effective method for permanently storing CO2. This method would not only allow the CO2 to be stored underground, but also increase oil production from fields that were once thought to be exhausted.
Captured CO2 from Port Arthur is reused at the depleted West Hastings Field in southeast Texas during the EOR phase. Using this method, West Hastings is likely to yield as much oil as it would from traditional production activities. It has been estimated that the West Hastings Field could produce between 60 and 90 million additional barrels of oil using CO2 injection.