PTQ Q1 2023 Issue

petroleum sector. The utilisation of asphaltenes in non- combustible ways will be critical for the long-term viability of the green petroleum sector and provides an immediate opportunity for achieving a 10-20% carbon emissions reduction from the status quo. A hydrophobic CMC through the incorporation of 0.2 wt% asphaltenes into Taiwan cement Type 1 with stan- dard sand and water (‘asphalted mortar’) was successfully demonstrated. The advantage of the hydrophobic CMC is that the cement, and by extension the concrete, becomes inherently water-resistant. Furthermore, inherently the water-resistant CMC is mould-preventative. Properties of the newly formulated asphalted mortar complied with CNS 3763-2009 requirements, indicating that asphaltenes are appropriate cement waterproofing agents. A Mel Larson, Manager, Strategic Business, Becht, mlar- There is not much pure vac residua in the market. It is more likely a blended high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), which has die- sel to blend the API. The opportunity is to fill delayed cok - ing capacity with HSFO while optimising other conventional oils. The market differential between very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and HSFO is between 200 to 300 $/mt or (30 to 40 $/bbl), thus if there is sulphur/hydrogen plant capacity, processing HSFO could be a very attractive opportunity. Q With the ‘CO 2 -to-methanol route’ gaining more inter- est, what emerging technology do you see accelerating this interest? A Joris Mertens, Principal Consultant, KBC (A Yokogawa Company), joris.mertens@kbcglobal For CO 2 -to-methanol, the primary accelerator will not be technical but rather a market pricing strategy based on the carbon intensity of the methanol product. In brief, ‘green’ methanol needs a higher price. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a 50% emission reduction tar- get for shipping that will require the use of low-carbon fuels. In addition to being more technically mature, the e-methanol and bio-methanol paths are easier to apply to existing shipping infrastructure. In their energy transition outlook, DNV predicts e-methanol demand for bunkering will reach 360 and 1800 PJ in 2030 and 2050, respectively, which corresponds with 18 and 90 million tonnes per year. Regulations are crucial, with technical developments important as well. On the one hand, renewable electric- ity and the development of electrolyser technology can reduce hydrogen costs. On the other hand, the well-estab- lished methanol synthesis technology needs to be further E-methanol technology will evolve faster if stable and selective catalysts tailored to CO 2 /H 2 feeds are developed

developed, particularly the methanol synthesis catalyst. Conventional methanol synthesis uses a syngas mixture rich in CO, not CO 2 . E-methanol technology will evolve faster if stable and selective catalysts tailored to CO 2 /H 2 feeds are developed. They will reduce the yield of lower value by-products, as well as the capital cost (for example, reactor size) and operating cost (for example, reduced recy- cling of unconverted product). Reducing operating costs will reduce the carbon intensity of the process, which may further increase the product value. The final parameters in the equation are the price and availability of CO 2 , which will be determined both by regu- lations and cost reductions through further technological developments. CO 2 captured from large point sources is likely to be used over the short and medium terms as it will become more readily available at lower costs. Ultimately, however, CO 2 from direct air capture should be the pre- ferred CO 2 source. A Troels Juel Friis-Christensen, Technology Manager, Topsoe, Green methanol produced by biogenic CO 2 and hydrogen from electrolysis powered by renewable energy is one of the possible solutions for decarbonising the maritime sec- tor. Demand for green methanol is therefore predicted to increase significantly in the future. Conversion of CO2 into methanol changes the chemical processing conditions for the methanol catalyst. The concentration of water and CO 2 is much higher than that of a traditional operation. Based on Topsoe’s knowledge of copper-based metha- nol catalysts and years of experience within CO 2 utilisa- tion for the production of methanol, Topsoe has developed MK-317 Sustain, which can achieve a high and stable con- version rate over a long period of time. The dependency on fluctuating renewable energy for the generation of hydrogen requires a robust plant design with the ability to change load fast and frequently, and with extended turn- down requirements. Topsoe’s eMethanol process provides the required flexibility in a simple and efficient solution by combining a methanol catalyst with a reliable and proven process design. A Pattabhi Raman Narayanan, Manager, Strategic Business, Becht, Methanol synthesis is a mature technology. The feed- stock is typically a mixture of CO 2 , CO, and hydrogen, and catalysts are mainly based on copper or copper/zinc oxide. Technology development is underway to tune them towards the different requirements of CO 2 conversion driven by global climate change. There are two pathways for converting CO 2 into methanol. One is to reduce CO 2 to carbon monoxide (CO) and then reduce CO with hydrogen to make methanol. The second is the direct hydrogenation of CO 2 with hydrogen over a heterogeneous catalyst. In the first pathway, the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction is receiving increased attention as a method for converting CO 2 into syngas using renewable hydrogen. RWGS is attractive as it allows existing, high technology readiness level (TRL) processes to be run in two steps from


PTQ Q1 2023

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