ExxonMobil & Fuelcell Energy expand carbon capture technology agreement

carbon capture

ExxonMobil and Fuelcell Energy, Inc. signed a new joint development agreement to further improve carbon capture fuel cell technology in industrial facilities.

The two-year deal is valued at up to $60 million. Moreover, it will enable research on how to capture emissions at power plants and industrial facilities, including refineries and chemical plants.

These companies are working to develop a carbon capture & storage device that concentrates and captures up to 90% of CO2 emissions from the exhaust streams. Additionally, they believe it will also help consume much less energy. Its efficient design uses advanced fuel cells, similar to batteries, which are showing great potential for carbon capture.

The partners are jointly renovating their research and development area, looking to create a CCS fuel cell battery system that is economical, scalable, and expandable within ExxonMobil operations and in other areas.

The search for new options

ExxonMobil is exploring options to make a pilot trial of the next-generation fuel cell solution for carbon capture at one of its operative sites.

This deal will “enable greater progress in this unique carbon capture solution that has the potential to achieve meaningful reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial operations.” With these words, Vice-President of Research and Development for ExxonMobil Research & Engineering company Vijay Swarup highlighted the importance of this initiative.

“ExxonMobil is working to advance carbon capture technologies while reducing costs and enhancing scalability,” he added.


High-efficiency technology

FuelCell Energy patented technology uses carbonate fuel cells that enable to efficiently capture and concentrate carbon dioxide streams from large industrial sources. The combustion exhaust is directed to the fuel cell, which generates energy while capturing and concentrating carbon dioxide for permanent storage.

Similarly, its modular design enables to implement the technology in a wide variety of places. This could lead to a more profitable path for large-scale carbon capture.

“This announcement underscores our leadership position in fuel cell technology,” said Jason Few, president and chief executive officer of Fuel Cell Energy.


Remodeling environmental impact

“Fuel Cell Energy has always been proud of our technology and our role in reshaping the environmental impact of industry and electrical generation. This is another giant step forward towards the large-scale deployment of this much-needed technology.”

ExxonMobil and Fuel Cell Energy began working together in 2016 with a focus on better understanding the fundamental science behind carbonate fuel cell. With this, they seek to increase efficiency in separating and concentrating carbon dioxide from the exhaust of natural gas-fueled power generation.

The new and expanded agreement will prioritize the optimization of the core carbon capture technology for integration into large-scale industrial facilities such as refineries and chemical plants.

The company has a working interest in approximately one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity, and has captured about 7 million tons per year of carbon dioxide. Exxon Mobil has captured more carbon dioxide than any other company.

Carbon capture making the difference

A fuel cell is a device in which a continuous flow of fuel and oxidant suffers a controlled chemical reaction, which is how it directly supplies electricity to an external circuit with minimal or zero emissions.

In these cells, reagents are continuously supplied from the outside, which is how it can generate electric energy non-stop. It has the capacity to continuously supply hydrogen and oxygen to these fuel cells.

When the fluids are hydrogen and oxygen, in addition to producing electric energy, the result of the reaction is water. Hydrogen enters the fuel cell at the anode, while oxygen is fed through the cathode.

A fuel cell converts the chemical energy from fuel into electricity via a chemical reaction.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Aviation and marine transport face the challenge to reduce their emissions

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