and lower carbon intensity than an SMR alone (see Figure 3 ). A GHR achieves this lower carbon inten- sity by using an SMR’s hot out- let process gas or other Advanced Reforming technology to heat the inlet feed gas to the GHR, enabling efficient use of natural gas within syngas production. Enhanced carbon capture enables existing SMR hydrogen plants to achieve 95%+ CO 2 capture. As pre- viously mentioned, existing SMR hydrogen plants are the single largest source of CO 2 emissions in the refinery. To future-proof exist - ing SMR refinery hydrogen plants to align with 2050 net-zero targets, 90+% capture of the CO 2 emit- ted from the SMR hydrogen plant needs to be achieved. Process CO 2 capture in existing SMR based flow sheets does not get to this required level. While post-combustion CO 2 capture can achieve this level of CO 2 capture, it requires a high level of capital at a time when refinery capital is being compressed in response to the pan- demic and capital utilisation is of greater importance. In addition to cost, post-combus- tion capture requires a substantial plot plan to install (see Figure 2 ). As refineries continue to increase their complexity to make higher-value products, plot space is scarce and becomes more valuable, particu- larly for those refinery sites near metropolitan areas. However, the 90+% capture tar- get can be exceeded by integrating Advanced Reforming technology into existing SMR hydrogen plant flowsheets and producing hydro - gen at a very low carbon intensity with improved heat integration. This integration moves the CO 2 emissions predominately into the process side of the flowsheet, ena - bling low-cost CO 2 capture with minimal energy and plot space requirement (enhanced carbon cap- ture). Table 1 shows a comparison of key parameters for these different decarbonisation approaches. Sustainability and longevity 3 When looking at these bespoke decarbonisation solutions, consid- eration must also be given to the
Post, pre, and enhanced carbon capture comparison, approximate values based on a study for a European refinery customer
Process gas carbon Flue gas carbon Enhanced carbon capture capture capture
Maximum possible direct CO 2 reductions ~50-60%
90%+ 100% 100%
95% 70% 60%
Relative capital cost
Relative plot space requirement
lifecycle emissions associated with implementing a new solution or technology. To utilise hydrogen in the future, energy infrastructure and electric grids need to be green. However, waiting for renewable energy to achieve a green electri- cal grid might be too late in some cases. Therefore, using solutions that decarbonise outside the grid allows the end user to avoid competition for renewable energy with hard-to- abate sectors and allow significant Using solutions that decarbonise outside the grid allows the carbon reductions to be achieved today. Applying integrated Advanced Reforming technologies and enhanced carbon capture to existing refinery hydrogen plants provides a cost-effective way to achieve low carbon intensity hydro- gen production today, sustained and aligned with green hydrogen production decades from now. end user to avoid competition for renewable energy with hard-to-abate sectors
2 Reducing Petrochemical Carbon Intensity – A Running Start to Net Zero, World Economic Forum Blog, 2021. 3 Hydrogen Decarbonisation Pathways. A life-cycle assessment, Hydrogen Council, 2021. 4 Geological Capture and Sequestration of Carbon: Proceedings of a Workshop in Brief, The National Academies Press, 2018. 5 The Global status of CCS, Global CCS Institute, 2020. 6 Techno-Economic Evaluation of SMR based standalone (Merchant) Hydrogen Plant with CCS, IEAGHG, 2017. is the Global Market Manager for Johnson Matthey’s Efficient Natural Resources Sector – Catalysts and Technologies – Low Carbon Solutions business. He is responsible for solution development utilising JM’s Low Carbon and ADVANCED REFORMING Technology enabling our customers to decarbonise existing syngas facilities. Ken is based in Oakbrook Terrace IL USA. He holds a B.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston IL. He represents JM with the Institute of Clean Air Companies – ICAC and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) screening committee where he was recently recognised with the Peter G. Andrews Lifetime Service Award. Email: email@example.com Ken Chlapik Dominic Winch is a Market Analyst for Johnson Matthey’s Catalysts and Technologies Low Carbon Solutions business. Currently he supports the development of solutions and technologies designed to enable JM’s customers to decarbonise their existing operations. He holds a degree in chemistry (MChem) from the University of Leicester. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Diane Dierking is a Senior Account Manager for Johnson Matthey’s Catalysts Technologies business. Currently she supports hydrogen and refinery purification technologies to enable JM’s customers to operate more efficiently. Email: email@example.com
ADVANCED REFORMING is a trademark of the Johnson Matthey group of companies.
References 1 Running Start to Net Zero, Hydrocarbon Engineering , 2021.
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