Jeff Guenther, Project Development Director, Honeywell Carbon Capture Solutions, and Ms. Maya Nair, Offering Director, Honeywell Green Hydrogen Solutions, presented on advances in hydrogen and carbon capture at the Honeywell conference in Chicago, USA.
Guenther marked the CO2 countdown, with several references from the likes of Exxon, Valero, Chevron, Philips, BP, Shell, etc. President Biden plans to cut emissions at least in half by 2030. There are CO2 pricing initiatives, such as Emissions Trading Scheme in 45 countries, Carbon Intensity/LCA credits, tax credits and capex credits. In R&D, there is public funding for R&D and demonstration.
Diverse options require a focused strategy to achieve targets. Hydrogen and carbon capture are key levers enabling emission reductions. Within H2, we have blue and green varieties.
He presented the market outlook. CCUS is a ready-now technology option for reducing CO2 emissions. New units are added to the existing assets. These are available for ‘hard to abate’ industry segments. Some of them are power, cement, chemicals, steel, and refining. One of the keys in reducing global emissions, accounting for >15% overall emissions reduction in IEA Sustainable Development. Captured CO2 is projected to increase by 20X in next 10 years, driven by improving technology and advancing policy. To meet this projected scale-up, 70-100 projects are needed each year through 2050.
Looking at global hydrogen demand, 660MT H2 pa is required in 2050 for net-zero. This is 22% of global final energy demand. That is, 6Gt of annual CO2 abatement. In a decarbonized world, H2 demand could grow up to ~10-fold.
Blue H2 technology is ready now. It offers a low cost of production, with commercially proven unit operations. It enables H2 infrastructure investment, and requires CO2 end use or sequestration. Green H2 becomes more competitive in the future. Adoption depends on how quickly and significantly electrolyzer system costs drop. We have to develop the infrastructure. This includes renewable electricity and electrolyzer capacity for green CO2 sequestration for blue. Transport from regions with cheap renewable electricity or sequestration is needed as well. Cost factors include electricity cost, electrolyzer cost, and electrolyzer capacity factor.
There are project drivers and hurdles. For policy support and business case, we have CO2 capture incentives, emission penalties, government project funding, and low CO2 premiums – still developing for most industries. For infrastructure availability, we have on-site storage, the availability of transportation and storage sites and/or hubs, suitable geology, and alternative CO2 outlets – EOR, chemicals, F&B, semi-condition.
Project complexity can require 5-9-year development. Collaborations are needed to cover full value chain. Technology maturity includes CO2 concentration, scale of project, regional opex, and pre-treatment needs. Project development is complex, but projects are progressing.
Honeywell offers carbon capture technologies. UOP is leveraging existing technologies and expertise to deliver differentiation in new applications. Proven technologies can be used for CO2 capture. Honeywell CO2 solutions enable cost-effective emission reductions. It has advanced solvent carbon capture solution. There is the ExxonMobil case study with UOP H2 purification and CO2 fractionation. Honeywell ASCC will also support decarbonization in the power sector.
Honeywell’s catalyst-coated membrane solution has new CCMs for green H2 production using PEM and AEM electrolyzer technology. It leverage decades of R&D expertise in membranes and catalysis. It enables higher electric current density through UOP’s breakthrough proprietary high-ionic conductivity membrane and high-activity catalyst. Honeywell CCM can reduce electrolyzer stack cost by >25%. CCM also drives performance improvement. UOP CCMs show much lower H2 crossover and improved mechanical strength.
Ms. Maya Nair talked about Honeywell manufacturing. Honeywell is leveraging over 40 years of membrane manufacturing experience. In 2023, we are leveraging existing manufacturing assets to produce and deliver CCM. By 2025, we can deliver at GW level to match market demand. Honeywell is ready to supply electrolyzer manufacturers at scale from this year.
Emissions reduction is the key strategic decision facing industrial producers, as companies navigate complex decisions amidst changing markets and approaching targets. Policy is evolving worldwide in support of project development through a combination of R&D support, CO2 pricing, and low carbon intensity incentives.
Real projects are happening, setting a model for the future of carbon capture. This includes on-purpose, large scale, low-carbon intensity H2 production like ExxonMobil Baytown, and Flue gas carbon capture in hard to abate sectors including refining, chemicals, power, steel, and cement. Clean hydrogen will shift from blue to green as renewables scale up and electrolyzer costs decrease. Honeywell has technology portfolio to support energy transition.