Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage (CCUS)
Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage (CCUS), the capture of CO2 to use it or store it underground, is one of the enablers to actually achieve the climate objectives. The Coalition Agreement and the Climate Agreement endorse the importance of CCUS in the energy transition. It is seen as an essential element to help the Netherlands in achieving the 2030 CO2 reduction goal.
Experts see CCUS as one of the few ways in which both power plants running on fossil sources and industry can reduce CO2 emissions relatively quickly. For the time being, fossil fuelled power plants will still be needed as back-up when there is no wind and the sun does not shine. CCUS is also required to create climate-neutral, blue hydrogen (made from natural gas in combination with CCUS). This helps to get the hydrogen economy started as quickly as possible, until there are enough plants for green hydrogen (made from renewable sources). Even if society could have 100% green power, fossil fuels will still be needed as feedstock for the production of steel, cement and chemicals. During the production process, CO2 is released, which we can capture and store.
Shell researchers are working on the so-called Solid Sorbent Technology (SST). This is a technology that uses a solid adsorbent to separate CO2 from flue gases from (bio)gas-fired power plants, industry (e.g., cement, steel, chemistry) or hydrogen production. The costs are 25% lower compared to existing technologies that use liquid amine solutions. In Austria, this technology has been successfully tested in a biomass plant in the so-called ViennaGreenCO2 project. This pilot showed that 90% of the flue gases can be captured and that the CO2 has a purity level of 95%. This means that the captured CO2 is directly suitable for greenhouse fertilization or, after an additional purification step, can be stored in, for example, an empty gas field. After the successful completion of the pilot in Austria, the pilot plant moved to the BMC Moerdijk power plant. Shell uses the pilot plant there to further test existing and new sorbents with improved properties.
Under the name TulipGreenCO2, Shell is also working on the design of an SST installation at BMC Moerdijk on a semi-commercial scale. This is an important intermediate step to demonstrate the technology before it can be applied commercially. Forming a consortium for the design, construction and operation of this installation is part of the TulipGreenCO2 project. The installation has an expected capacity of 150 tonnes of CO2 per day, ready to be used or stored.
Energy has been key at ETCA for more than a hundred years. ETCA is one of the three largest Shell research centres worldwide. This is where new ideas, technology and decades of experience come together to meet the energy needs of today and tomorrow.
What are Shell's activities at ETCA and what kinds of research are conducted at this facility?
Wereldwijd staat de samenleving de komende decennia voor een uitdaging. Terwijl de maatschappij steeds minder broeikasgassen moet gaan uitstoten, zal door de groeiende wereldbevolking en stijgende welvaart het energieverbruik toenemen. Efficiënter gebruik en schonere energie zijn de kern van een groot deel van de onderzoeksactiviteiten binnen onderzoeksactiviteiten van Shell in Amsterdam.