H2Tech - Q3 2022 - 11

Blue H2
can be carbon neutral with CCUS
3. Hydrogen (H2
also produce substantial
amounts of carbon (FIG. 1).
) is gaining
popularity for use as a fuel
source because it emits no
when burned.
Why CCUS? As H2
gains popularity as an
alternative fuel, it can still be a carbon-intensive
production process diluting overall
carbon reduction benefits. Producing H2
from coal or natural gas-known as brown
and gray H2
tensive process. Green H2, produced from
MICHELLE PITTENGER is the Lead Geologist
for CCUS at GHD. She has 30 yr of experience
finding and developing hydrocarbon and CO2
sequestration resources. She has worked in
numerous basins across the U.S., North Africa,
the Middle East and Canada. Pittenger spent
29 yr at ConocoPhillips in various positions,
including deepwater and unconventional
developments, subsurface technology, and
carbon capture and storage (CCS). The author
can be reached at michelle.pittenger@ghd.com.
water using renewable energy, is carbonfree
but presently very expensive. One
interim alternative is blue H2
natural gas, where the byproduct CO2
, made from
captured before it enters the atmosphere.
CCUS reduces emissions from oil and
gas and industrial processes and is the key
to allowing blue H2
to be " blue. " It is the
only method to capture and permanently
store the carbon emissions produced when
natural gas is converted to H2
. To permanently
store this captured carbon, wells are
drilled down into porous rock formations
and CO2
is injected into these formations
where it remains trapped by layers of rock
deep underground, essentially forever.
Why not just utilize the CO2
to proAtmospheric
carbon dioxide (CO2
) remains
high. Climate change is affecting the
earth's weather and climate systems, and
there is rising urgency to find solutions to
reduce carbon emissions and the greenhouse
effect. Carbon capture, utilization
and storage (CCUS) is emerging as a sustainable
solution for three main reasons:
1. Fossil fuels are essential to
life as we know it, now and
for the foreseeable future.
2. Industrial processes that
produce the goods we need
duce carbonate minerals, biofuels or other
products? While the " U " in CCUS does
stand for utilization, the scale of CO2
today that must be captured and kept
out of the atmosphere vastly outweighs the
amount that can be utilized with today's
technologies and uses, primarily to manufacture
fertilizer. To put it in perspective,
the International Energy Agency (IEA)
estimates demand for CO2
to climb to 272
MM metric tpy (tonnes per year) by 2025,
while global emissions were estimated to
be 36.2 B metric t of CO2
manent storage of CO2
in 2020.1
a necessary and
practical technology that has been proven
in concept and small-scale demonstration
projects. Now, it is imperative for projects
to move from the demonstration scale to
the industrial scale.
Much of the necessary technology and
knowledge to permanently store captured
is already available through the oil
, respectively-is a carbon-inand
gas sector's knowledge and expertise
over the past century. This includes understanding
sedimentary rock geology,
finding porous rock deep beneath the surface
and then accessing it through drilling.
The oil industry is also familiar with
injecting CO2
into rock formations to
extract more hydrocarbons. Two areas of
knowledge discussed here are particularly
necessary for enabling CCUS to become
the world-changing solution it can be.
Finding and evaluating CCUS opportunities.
The first area of expertise needed
is geological expertise to search for and
evaluate geological formations suitable
for CCUS and to define injection and
monitoring plans. The oil and gas sector
is quite familiar with this kind of search.
It has evolved sophisticated tools, including
seismic exploration, to build a picture
of the underground environment. Petroleum
geoscientists use these technologies
to find porous rock formations covered
by impenetrable layers of rock, which in
some cases, trap hydrocarbons.
CCUS uses similar technologies to
find porous rock bodies situated in such a
way that the injected CO2
will remain in
place rather than migrating to the surface.
It is oil patch geology, in reverse.
One good thing about CCUS is that
rock formations do not need to contain
hydrocarbons for CO2
storage. Hence,
CCUS has the potential to work in sedimentary
geology that might not be hydrocarbon
sources. This means that if
H2Tech | Q3 2022 11

H2Tech - Q3 2022

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H2Tech - Q3 2022 - Cover1
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