On Monday, U.S.-listed industrial multinational Honeywell announced that Wabash Valley Resources (an affiliate of commodity trading house Phibro LLC, previously known as Philipp Brothers) will use several tech solutions from its Universal Oil Products (UOP) division for a major carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) plant in the state of Indiana. The project, which will capture and sequester up to 1.65 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually and produce clean hydrogen energy from a repurposed gasification plant outside West Terre Haute, will be one of the largest-ever carbon sequestration initiatives in the United States.
The project will capture and sequester close to 100 percent of the plant’s CO2 approximately 7000 ft below the surface into the saline sandstone aquifer known as the Mount Simon Sandstone, with the capacity to be expanded to 1.75 million tons of CO2 per annum.
Green, green, green
Fertilizer plants are a major source of green-house gas emissions, representing approximately 2 percent of CO2 emissions globally. As Wabash Valley Resources noted upon the original project launch in 2019, WVR’s carbon capture and sequestration project, still in development, will facilitate the production of low-carbon green ammonia fertilizer, from the co-located plant. Low carbon ammonia production lowers the carbon intensity of ethanol produced in the United States, making the commodity more economically competitive in California and Europe.
“Adding carbon capture and storage to hydrogen production is an economical solution for many companies looking to make significant progress on their sustainability goals,” said Laura Leonard, vice president and general manager, UOP Process Technologies, upon announcing Honeywell’s involvement in the project. “Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can provide a low-carbon solution across almost every industry—petrochemical and refining, buildings, commercial, transportation and power generation.”
As noted in the U.S. Department of Energy‘s recently released hydrogen plan, a study by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association estimates the hydrogen economy could generate as much as $140 billion per year in revenue and create 700,000 U.S. jobs by 2030. At projected growth rates, this could grow to $750 billion per year in revenue and 3.4 million jobs by 2050.
Honeywell UOP will provide technology licenses, basic engineering, and a variety of specialty equipment for the project. These specialized technologies include a modular MOLSIV molecular sieve dehydration unit, used for acid gas removal, dehydration, hydrocarbon removal and desulfurization of various gases; a modular Ortloff CO2 Fractionation unit, which removes most of the CO2 content contained in the gas streams; and a Polybed pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit, which is used to then sequester carbon dioxide and process synthesis gas from the gasification unit.
The CO2 stream produced through this process will be sent for permanent geological storage, while the hydrogen stream can fuel a hydrogen turbine to generate electrical power. The hydrogen stream can also be used in chemical synthesis, or marketed as a clean transportation fuel.
Wabash Valley Resources was recently selected to receive funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its Carbon Storage Program, designed to promote the advancement, development and validation of technologies enabling safe, cost-effective, and permanent geologic storage of carbon dioxide. In 2019, it received an investment from the billion-dollar Oil and Gas Climate Investments (OGCI CI) to develop the West Terre Haute CCUS facility.