Japanese chemicals company Kureha has formed a partnership with Brazilian state energy group Petrobras for the development of a CO2 capture system for offshore oil fields.
A new catalyst will be developed by Kureha – in collaboration with the Kitami Institute of Technology – and used within a carbon capturing device before the end of FY2023 at the company’s Japan-based research facility. A small-scale prototype of the device is planned to be put into operation in FY2024.
The duo aims to test the catalyst over several years on an oil rig operated by Petrobras off the coast of Brazil. Additional test locations are also planned. A commercial version of the CO2 capture system is anticipated to be ready between 2025 and 2030 to contribute towards Kureha’s 2050 target of achieving carbon neutrality. At present, Petrobras is considering the use of the technology at some of its facilities.
Natural gas – a byproduct at offshore oil rigs – is normally burned away from oil rigs, and a typical facility will emit approximately 200kg of methane each hour – the main component of natural gas.
The new technology will consist of carbon capture and utilization, with Kureha capturing carbon from the methane, before turning it into a powder. The powder can then be transformed into carbon nanotubes for use within lithium-ion batteries, other automotive components, and in electronic devices.
The company will initially extract methane from natural gas using activated carbon. The methane will then be broken down into hydrogen and carbon using the new catalyst.
Approximately U$103,000 in initial funding will be awarded to the project in FY2023.