Decarbonisation Technology Media Details

August 2021 Decarbonisati n Technolo gy Pow ring the Transition to Sustainable Fue s & Energy



E MAP, the publisher of PTQ / Digital Refining, welcomes you to the first issue of Decarbonisation Technology, a digital magazine that focuses on the strategies, legislation and technologies powering the transition to sustainable fuels and energy. Over the coming months, our global multi-platform media brand will expand to include a website, online Q&A and a weekly newsletter. This will be followed by a series of conferences worldwide. We aim to become a popular forum for conversation between renewable and conventional energy producers, government advisers and policymakers, and other decision-makers interested in the energy transition to a sustainable future. Each issue we will explore the global deployment of decarbonisation technologies, whether mature, at early adoption, under demonstration or still a prototype. In our first issue, we discover how a former gasification plant is set to become one of the largest carbon capture and clean hydrogen production facilities in the US to date. We also turn our attention to Chile, and the challenges and opportunities CCUS presents there. In the call for improved energy efficiency, reduced emissions and increased competitive advantage, we highlight numerous innovative solutions – from strategies for decarbonising combustion to a novel approach for CO 2 removal from natural gas. In addition, we identify the crucial role catalysts and adsorbents will play in the energy transition, and reveal how to optimise green hydrogen production using system simulation. We hope you will find this issue interesting and informative. Register HERE to receive your regular copy, and to contribute to future issues, please send any editorial suggestions to

Managing Editor Rachel Storry tel +44 (0)7786 136440 Business Development Director Paul Mason tel +44 844 5888 771

This unique advertising package allows you to help design the front cover, to include a belly band advertisement with a link to your technical article in the magazine. You will also be able to provide the executive viewpoint ‘Towards 2030: roadmap to sustainability’, highlighting how your company can help power the transition to sustainable fuels and energy. In addition, you will receive a single-page advertisement within the issue, with as many links as you wish back to more information on your own website and a short 400-500 word product summary for the Decarbonisation Through Innovation section.

Managing Director Richard Watts

Graphics Peter Harper Circulation Fran Havard

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Cover Story

August 2021 Decarbonisati n Technolo gy Pow ring the Transition to Sustainable Fue s & Energy

Click here to learn about strategies for decarbonizing your combustion processes.

Rachel Storry

Click here to learn about strategies for decarbonizing your combustion processes.

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Towards 2030 The oil and gas industry strives to balance fossil fuel market challenges during the transition to sustainable fuels and energy Rene G Gonzalez Consultant

Strategies for decarbonising combustion processes Operators can leverage the combustion reaction to decarbonise fired equipment, optimise energy efficiency, enhance process reliability, and reduce emissions

The key to having insulation systems in place that provide long-term thermal efficiency is to choose materials that, even in demanding environments, offer reliable and consistent performance and keep their insulating properties over their complete lifetime. Owens Corning Foamglas cellular glass insulation is manufactured from sand, recycled glass and other natural and abundant materials. It does not contain any organic compounds, oil or oil by-products and no toxic or flammable materials. These raw materials are mixed together and, with the help of a natural reaction, foamed to a block with millions of hermetically sealed glass cells. It is these cells that give Foamglas insulation its superior long-term thermal performance and moisture resistance. Material ageing can cause a chronic loss of thermal efficiency in insulation materials. Foamglas cellular glass insulation is not susceptible to gas diffusion and does not age over time, meaning it provides constant thermal efficiency and energy savings throughout the system’s life. This minimises the need for insulation replacement and helps support sustainable designs aimed at lower long-term life-cycle costs and maximum efficient use of energy. The largest external factor that affects an insulation system’s thermal efficiency is liquid absorption and retention. The most practical approach to long-term efficient insulation systems that also provide the most economical lifetime performance is the use of inherently low permeability insulations. One of the only service-proven materials with decades of in-the- field performance in this category is Foamglas cellular glass insulation. Its all-glass, closed-cell composition is 100% impermeable and highly resistant to moisture in vapour form. This overall moisture resistance allows retention of its original insulating value without a reduced thermal performance for many decades. This contributes to constant thermal efficiency and energy savings throughout the lifetime of the system. FOAMGLAS® insulation is a registered trademark of Owens Corning.

FOAMGLAS Insulation Solutions

Insulation’s contribution to long-term thermal efficiency and energy savings

About one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions come directly from industrial sources. These direct emissions result from processes, including the combustion of fossil fuels for heat and power, non-energy use of fossil fuels, and chemical processes used in manufacturing. The temperatures in these types of applications are often way above or below ambient temperatures, and thermal insulation is therefore applied to pipes, equipment and tanks to reduce heat loss. This allows a gain in efficiency that reduces the energy use and the corresponding CO 2 emissions. One of the easiest and most effective energy- efficient technologies available today is insulation. Mechanical insulation systems are among the few manufactured products that save more energy

Tim Tallon AMETEK Process Instruments

T he 2015 Paris Agreement calls for keeping global average temperature increases less than 2°C (3.6˚F) above pre-industrial levels. Against this backdrop, oil and gas industry programmes to curtail greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are taking on more urgency. More capital is needed, but environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) focused investors are cautious about the industry’s ability to meet impending 2030 targets (let alone net-zero emissions by 2050). In this decade, moderate investments can deliver the capabilities needed to meet near-term improvements, such as upgrading refinery diesel hydrotreaters with reactor and catalyst technology for converting biomass into biofuels. Meanwhile, strategic reviews conducted by oil and gas companies emphasise the urgency to begin the multibillion-dollar transition into LNG, hydrogen, solar-PV, wind, and more. Double-digit pre-pandemic returns from hydrocarbon extraction and processing projects have sunken into the low single digits. Meanwhile, capital constraints make it

challenging to invest in the complexity necessary to ensure sustainable operations. The low returns are driving up the cost of capital for drillers, refiners, and so on, further complicating the transition to decarbonisation. Predictions The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2030 there could be over $1.2 trillion invested annually in global renewables, more than five times the investment in fossil fuels. Some companies are exiting their oil and gas role altogether to focus on clean areas of the energy system. Other oil and gas companies continue building their hydrocarbon value chain while making renewables just a fraction of their portfolio. Most population growth is occurring in non- OECD countries; their energy consumption will predicate ramping up oil production above 100 million bpd. Demand is also increasing from expanding petrochemical production. Just as concerning, some regions are meeting electrical demand by building new coal-fired power plants, which is why a global consensus is needed to move away from fossil fuels.

A midst the global movement towards renewable energy sources, combustion remains an important heating source across many industries, including power and steam generation, oil and gas. While many of these combustion processes continue to operate on fossil fuels, we can derive ‘greener’ forms of combustion by considering the available ‘levers’ inherent to the combustion reaction. With an intuitive working knowledge of these levers, we can more clearly reveal opportunities to meet short-term sustainability targets and long-term strategic roadmaps. First, consider the primary elements of combustion: fuel, oxygen and heat. At sufficient air levels, the fuel combusts with the oxygen largely to produce carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water (H 2 O) with trace part-per-million (ppm) amounts of combustibles (which includes carbon monoxide [CO] and hydrogen [H 2 ]) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) both as a result of imperfect mixing and localised flame hot spots. The standard combustion reaction (using natural gas) can be summarised in Equation 1 or generalised (using a generic CxHy hydrocarbon) in Equation 2, as shown below: CH 4 + 2 * O 2 + N 2 → CO 2 + 2 * H 2 O + N 2 + ppm CO + ppm H 2 + ppm NOx eq. (1) CxHy + (x+y/2) * O 2 + N 2 → x * CO 2 + y * H 2 O + N 2 + ppm CO + ppm H 2 + ppm NOx eq. (2) While it may seem simple for strategic discussions, the combustion chemical reaction provides an insightful framework for identifying the various levers available to decarbonise combustion. Notably, each reactant component plays a direct


ppm CO ppm H ppm NOx N


2O + + N

Figure 1 The combustion chemical reaction, highlighting the key levers for decarbonisation

role in the heat generated and consumed during the combustion process. For example, increasing fuel consumption directly increases CO 2 emissions. In the same way, decreasing the fuel directly reduces the amount of CO 2 generated. From this lens, there are four critical levers that each offer a pathway to decarbonise combustion (see Figure 1 ):

Optimizing combustion for a greener tomorrow.

AMETEK process analyzers and sensor technologies have been the industry standard for more than 50 years. Today, our industry faces more environmentally responsible emissions mandates and greater demand for the use of clean energy. That’s why decarbonizing through optimized combustion and enhanced predictive analytics is essential for reducing plant emissions and ensuring equipment uptime. Our Thermox® WDG-V combustion analyzer is field-serviceable and monitors and controls combustion with unparalleled precision. As facilities strive to operate more efficiently and accept more variable fuels at their burners, AMETEK provides solutions for tighter emission control.

➊ Fuel ➋ Oxygen

than it takes to produce them. Recent studies have estimated that, over a 20-year lifespan, mechanical insulation systems can save up to 500 times the energy that it takes for manufacturers to produce them. Industrial insulation experts agree that thermal insulation in industry is poorly maintained and that parts are not insulated sufficiently or not at all, creating thermal bridges, which results in excessive heat losses and increased carbon emissions. Recent studies by the National Insulation Association and the European Industrial Insulation Foundation have found that upgrading insulation systems can reduce energy loss by up to 88% and reduce corresponding CO 2 emissions by millions of metric tonnes per year.

➌ Available heat ➍ Carbon dioxide

Scope Emission type



Scope 1

Direct emissions

GHG emissions from operations owned or controlled by the reporting enterprise

Onsite energy use of facilities, buildings &

offices (e.g., heating, cooling)

The following sections highlight the importance of each lever and how specific adjustments to these levers work together to reduce CO 2 emissions. Energy efficiency The first approach to decarbonising fired equipment is to make these assets more efficient. Through increased energy efficiency, the system produces equal or better performance while also consuming less fuel. There are two common approaches to decarbonise fired equipment via

Scope 2

Indirect emissions Indirect GHG emissions from generation

Purchased electricity, steam, heating & cooling (e.g, at hydrocarbon processing

of electricity, steam, and thermal load requirements at the reporting company All indirect upstream, midstream and downstream emissions (not included in Scope 2) of the reporting company


Scope 3

Indirect emissions

Upstream, midstream and downstream supply and distribution, and transportation

(rail, pipeline, barge, etc). Waste generated in operations

Learn more about optimized combustion by watching our decarbonization webinar.

Table 1 Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions measure a company’s GHG emissions. Scope 1 and 2 are classified as mandatory to report, whereas Scope 3 is voluntary and the most complex to monitor on the road to decarbonisation Source: Anthesis




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