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Carbon Capture

Honeywell and UT Austin collaborate on CCS

Honeywell and UT Austin collaborate on CCS
Staff at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, in partnership with the Research Relations team in the Cockrell School of Engineering, work closely with companies such as under the Texas Carbon Management Program which focuses on carbon capture from coal and natural gas power plant flue gas to help mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, with a goal to understand and improve all aspects of amine scrubbing (photo courtesy UT Austin).

In the United States (US), global refinery engineering and technology provider Honeywell has announced an agreement with the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) that will enable the lower-cost capture of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and heavy industry.

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Honeywell has committed to achieving carbon neutrality in its operations and facilities by 2035.

This new carbon capture technology builds on the company’s track record of sharply reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of its operations and facilities as well as its decades-long history of innovation to help its customers meet their environmental and social goals.

About half of Honeywell’s new product introduction research and development investment is directed toward products that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers.

As the world proactively seeks technology solutions that limit greenhouse gas emissions, we recognize that carbon capture technology is an important lever available today to reduce emissions in carbon-intensive industries that have few alternative options, such as steel plants and fossil fuel power plants, said Ben Owens, VP, and General Manager at Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions.

License UT Austin’s carbon capture technology

Honeywell will leverage UT Austin’s proprietary advanced solvent carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology to create a new offering targeted at power, steel, cement, and other industrial plants to lower emissions generated from combustion flue gases in new or existing units.

The solution provides these sectors with an additional tool to help meet regulatory requirements and sustainability goals.

By working with UT Austin, our advanced solvent carbon capture system will enable a lower cost of CO2 captured post-combustion. UT Austin is a leader in carbon capture research, focusing on this area for more than 20 years through its Texas Carbon Management Program (TxCMP), Ben Owens said.

Portrait of Ben Owens
Ben Owens, VP, and General Manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions (photo courtesy Honeywell).

The licensing arrangement with UT Austin expands Honeywell’s leading carbon capture technology portfolio.

Today, 15 million tonnes per year of CO2 is being captured and used in storage/utilization applications through Honeywell’s CO2 Solutions process expertise.

Honeywell currently has the capacity to capture 40 million tonnes per year through its installed projects worldwide.

Proprietary amine solution

UT Austin’s patented solution utilizes an advanced solvent, which enables carbon dioxide to be captured at a lower cost through greater efficiency using smaller equipment, creating viable project economics today under current CO2 policy frameworks in North America and Europe.

For a typical power plant (650 MW capacity), applying advanced solvent carbon-capture technology would enable the capture of about 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

This point source CO2 removal technology can be retrofitted within existing plants or included as part of a new installation.

In this process, carbon dioxide is absorbed into an amine solvent and then sent to a stripper where CO2 is separated from the solvent. This CO2 is then compressed for geological sequestration or used for other purposes.

Professor Gary Rochelle at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and leader of TxCMP at UT Austin, and his team have established an efficient, second-generation amine scrubbing system through years of research and analysis.

The improved performance from this solution can unlock project economics for “hard to abate” industries such as steel, cement, and chemical plants, and coal, natural gas, and bioenergy power plants.

We are thrilled that our decades of research have led to carbon capture technology that can significantly reduce carbon emissions. The licensing agreement with Honeywell enables us to commercially scale this in ways that can make major contributions toward zero emissions efforts to address global warming and to reduce pollutants in surrounding communities, Professor Gary Rochelle said.

Enormous opportunity

With thousands of power and industrial plants around the world, the opportunity for significant emissions reduction is enormous.

As part of the licensing arrangement, Professor Rochelle provides consulting services to Honeywell.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2020, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects worldwide were capturing and storing/using 40 million tonnes per year of CO2.

In order to align with the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), which demonstrates a pathway to limit global temperature rise by less than 1.5º C, CCUS project capacity must increase over twenty-fold to enable the capture of 840 million tonnes per year of CO2 by 2030.

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