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Carbon Capture

ExxonMobil to build CCS pilot plant with FuelCell Energy

ExxonMobil to build CCS pilot plant with FuelCell Energy
FuelCell Energy’s fuel cells are based on carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology, where electrochemical reactions are supported by an electrolyte layer in which carbonate ions serve as the ion bridge that completes the electrical circuit. The exhaust flue gases from the coal or gas-fired system are fed into the cathode side of the fuel cell. The CO2 in the exhaust is transferred to the anode side, where it is much more concentrated and easy to separate. CO2 from the anode exhaust stream is purified by chilling the stream to extract CO2 liquid. Purified CO2 can then be transported by pipeline for enhanced oil recovery applications or underground storage (photo courtesy FuelCell Energy).

US-headed ExxonMobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) and compatriot fuel cell technology developer and supplier FuelCell Energy Inc. (FuelCell Energy) have announced that ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Nederland BV plans to build a pilot plant at its Rotterdam Manufacturing Complex in the Netherlands to test a breakthrough technology that could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from key industries.

The pilot plant aims to obtain data on the performance and operability of the carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology, jointly developed with FuelCell Energy.

Additionally, the pilot aims to address potential technical issues that may occur in a commercial environment and better understand the costs of installing and operating a CFC plant for carbon capture.

First-of-its-kind pilot

The Esso Nederland Rotterdam integrated manufacturing site will be the first place in the world to pilot this technology.

Pending a successful demonstration, ExxonMobil could deploy this technology at its manufacturing sites around the world.

Carbonate fuel cells have a unique ability to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources before they are released into the atmosphere, while also making valuable co-products.

This feature increases the overall efficiency of the capture process and provides additional value streams that reduce the cost of carbon capture and storage.

The unique advantage of this technology is that it not only captures CO2 but also produces low-carbon power, heat, and hydrogen as co-products. We are excited for the opportunity to pilot this innovation at our own Rotterdam facility, said Geoff Richardson, SVP of Commercial and Business Development for ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.

CFC technology is also modular, potentially enabling carbon capture across a wide range of deployment scales.

When the CFC technology is technically ready for broadscale implementation, it could potentially offer economical decarbonization solutions for customers from a wide range of industries and serve the broader social goal of working towards a net-zero future.

FuelCell Energy and ExxonMobil believe that capturing carbon at the source is an efficient way to decarbonize heavy industry. This technology can capture carbon and produce electricity simultaneously, making it a game-changer in the industry, said Jason Few, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy.

The pilot project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) under the Emissions Trading System (ETS) Innovation Fund and by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency through a Demonstration Energy and Climate Innovation (DEI+) grant.

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