Decarbonisation Technology - November 2022

A lot can happen in a year. Early in 2022, the relaxation in Covid restrictions led to a surge in energy demand, then the invasion of Ukraine created a restriction in supply, the combination of which led to increased energy bills for consumers. The short-term economic outlook is gloomy, with a general rise in the cost of living and a re-emergence of inflation accompanied by higher interest rates. The war also emphasised our ongoing dependence on fossil energy sources. The social and economic impact of climate change is ever more clear, with record summer temperatures, drought, and wildfires throughout much of Europe, the overwhelming floods from abnormal monsoons in Pakistan, and annual, severe storms in the US. Billions have been invested in renewable energy sources and infrastructure, but it is clear that a fundamental change to the global energy system will require further trillions over the next 25 years. The current economic environment emphasises the need for a managed and progressive transition which balances the switch to renewables with energy security and affordability. Regulatory drivers need to balance ambition with realism. In this edition, there is a preview of the demand that will ensue from the forthcoming ReFuelEU regulation for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) within Europe. While the details will emerge from the current Trialogue negotiations between the EU Commission, Parliament, and the Council of Europe, the direction is already clear. This regulation, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, will drive the development and commercial scale-up of biofuels and e-fuels in Europe. In this issue, Johnson Matthey argues the case for technology-agnostic, low-carbon hydrogen standards, allowing the selection of the optimum solution for specific situations. In a similar vein, Shell discusses the need for both green and blue to meet the increasing demand for hydrogen. The Energy Transition Commission introduces its new report on the role of CCUS in the energy transition, touching on the importance of CO₂ removals from the atmosphere as well as the decarbonisation of industrial sectors that are otherwise difficult to decarbonise. Linde outlines development in the decarbonisation of steel production. The high temperatures required rule out full electrification, creating a strong case for hydrogen. While blue hydrogen currently has a cost advantage over green hydrogen, gasification of waste streams, such as municipal solid waste to produce syngas, could be even more cost competitive. There is increasing interest in the refining industry in waste as a feedstock. Greenergy’s Green Tyre Technology Project, which converts waste tyres into transport fuels, is a clear example of rethinking the energy system. Becht outlines different phases in the transition to a green refinery. Energy efficiency remains one of the most cost- effective options, as illustrated in the article on heat pumps to recover and reuse waste energy from current processes.

Managing Editor Rachel Storry tel +44 (0)7786 136440

Consulting Editor Robin Nelson robin.nelson@

Graphics Peter Harper

US Operations Mark Peters tel +1 832 656 5341

Business Development Director Paul Mason tel +44 844 5888 771

Managing Director Richard Watts

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Cover Story Twilight refinery


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