The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. – successfully captured more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas.
Using a technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will be used to help produce additional, hard-to-access resources from existing nearby oil fields.
In total, DOE projects have captured and securely stored nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to date, equivalent to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year. These DOE-supported projects have stored about 2.8 metric tons.
Air Products’ vacuum swing adsorption project, supported through the Department’s Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, is one of several ICCS projects advancing and deploying CCS technologies at commercial and utility-scale. Construction of the facility was completed in March 2013, on time and under budget.
In addition to demonstrating their vacuum swing adsorption technology, Air Products is also helping verify that enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is an effective method for permanently storing carbon dioxide. This method would not only allow the CO2 to be stored underground, but also increase oil production from fields that were once thought to be exhausted.
Captured carbon dioxide from Port Arthur is reused at the depleted West Hastings Field in southeast Texas during the EOR phase. Using this method, West Hastings is likely to yield as much oil as it would from traditional production activities. It has been estimated that the West Hastings Field could produce between 60 and 90 million additional barrels of oil using carbon dioxide injection.