Can this carbon sequestration technology help create negative emissions?

Imagine making zero-emissions gasoline, diesel or jet fuel simply by taking carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and combining it with hydrogen from water. Fortunately, it’s already happening with a technology called direct air capture (DAC), led by Occidental’s Low Carbon Ventures.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), each year the world burns enough fossil fuels to add nearly 40 billion tons of CO2. Keeping global warming to less than 2°C, the international goal to avoid the most dangerous impacts, will require negative emissions, which include removing a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it permanently. In this case, “bolt” means a huge volume of CO2, in fact, a stadium full, every seven seconds for the next thirty years.

Occidental, also known as Oxy, excels at this task. After 100 years in the fossil fuel business, it is now gearing up for the next 100 years in creating a low-carbon future.

“We have the expertise in carbon management, a strong track record of delivering large projects and the infrastructure to drive a low-carbon future,” said Cari Brueckner, Chief Information Officer – Oxy Chemicals and Marketing Systems, at the Energy Conference, presented by by SAP and TAC Events, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “We have strong global operations and experienced employees who are driven to develop solutions that will help the world achieve net zero.”

Negative emissions

To help tackle climate change through carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), the company created 1PointFive, a multi-solution platform that aims to help limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C by 2050 .It will do so by commercializing Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture technology alongside other CCUS solutions on an industrial scale.

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Experts believe that carbon sequestration can achieve 14% of the global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed by 2050. It is seen as a practical way to achieve deep decarbonisation in the industrial sector because it can reduce emissions from large stationary sources, mainly power plants and large industrial facilities, in various ways.

Oxy, an international energy company with assets in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa, is one of the largest oil producers in the United States. It is now leveraging its expertise in carbon management and storage to help achieve net zero and accelerate progress on the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Our subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures advances cutting-edge technologies and business solutions that grow our business economically while reducing emissions,” said Brueckner. “We are committed to using our global leadership in carbon management to advance a lower carbon world.”

At Oxy, net zero means facilitating the reduction, capture, removal and storage of at least the same amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted directly by its operations (Scope 1) as are produced by others to generate its purchasing power ( Field 2) and are created by customers and consumers using the products they sell (Field 3).

This requires a new, circular business model that starts with reducing emissions through greater operational efficiency and state-of-the-art technology. Reduction is followed by CO2 reuse and recycling with technologies and partnerships that use captured CO2 to improve existing products and produce new low-carbon or zero-emission products.

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And finally, it is about removing existing CO2 from the atmosphere in significant quantities for use and safe, permanent sequestration by developing and deploying innovative sequestration technologies and commercial-scale market mechanisms to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Digital transformation

Greater operational efficiency requires the right digital backbone. Oxy decided to accelerate its digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA and Accenture in 2019.

According to energy experts like Brueckner, the energy industry is one of the most data-intensive industries on the planet. Data and technology are the driving force behind business processes at every level of operation. Many digital innovations are focused on ensuring that company decisions, at all levels, extract the full value of this data.

The implementation of SAP S/4HANA helped free up important resources that were previously buried in manual processes. Teams have become more agile and positioned to make better decisions. And many teams at Oxy leverage SAP S/4HANA as their foundation to more quickly implement other industry-related technologies for their operations.

“Our mission to produce vital energy to sustain people and the planet is only possible with visionary technologies,” Brueckner said, concluding that the company’s commitment to reducing emissions across all of its energy and chemical operations will certainly help in promoting global sustainability.

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