Carbon Sciences to Focus on Hydrogen and Chemicals Market
Carbon Sciences Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to make transportation fuels and other valuable products from natural gas, recently announced that it will add to its core technology by accelerating the development of a steam reforming version of its proprietary catalyst for use by existing synthetic gas (syngas) plants. There are more than 2,000 plants worldwide that use steam reforming of natural gas to make syngas for the production of large volume chemicals such as hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, solvents and detergent alcohols.
Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences, commented, "We are accelerating our development efforts to adapt our proprietary catalyst to meet the needs of this valuable market. By the end of 2012, we plan to demonstrate that our catalyst will deliver more output at a lower cost and will be an attractive drop-in replacement for existing steam reforming plants. The financial rewards are enormous. The current global hydrogen market exceeds $150 billion/year with methanol at more than $20 billion annually. The 2,000 existing steam reforming plants in the world usually replace their catalysts every 3-5 years. Many of these catalysts replacements cost as much as $5-$10MM."
Gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, based on abundant and inexpensive natural gas, offers the best solution to meet the increasing demand for liquid transportation fuels. The GTL market is still developing and represents the company's most significant long-term market opportunity. Steam reforming of natural gas is the preferred method of producing syngas for small to mid-size GTL plants. Carbon Sciences is targeting this market segment as a drop-in replacement opportunity for the steam-reforming version of its catalyst.
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The company continues to develop the dry reforming version of its catalyst that can be used with captured CO2 or high CO2 content natural gas to make syngas.
Elton, concluded, "The key to succeeding in these market segments is a catalyst that can reduce the cost of reforming natural gas into syngas, the most costly step in making products from natural gas. We believe we have that catalyst. Completing the development and demonstrating the value of our breakthrough catalyst is Carbon Sciences' highest priority in 2012."
Edited by Carin Hall
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
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Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly