DOE project captures, stores over million metric tons of carbon dioxide

US Department of Energy

Following the one-year mark since the release of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the US Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., reports a major milestone: the successful capture of more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas.

Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90% 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. In just the last year, since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, these DOE-supported projects have stored approximately 2.8 metric tons.

“To date, Energy Department projects have helped to capture and securely store nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere, helping to lay the groundwork for more widespread use of carbon sequestration,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Chris Smith. “Next-generation carbon capture technologies like those deployed at the Air Products facility are a crucial part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy approach, helping to ensure that we are powering our industries as efficiently, sustainably, and cleanly as possible, using all of America’s abundant energy resources.”  

Air Products’ vacuum swing adsorption project, supported through the DOE’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 its vacuum swing adsorption technology, Air Products is also helping to verify that enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is an effective method for permanently storing carbon dioxide. This method would not only allow the carbon dioxide to be stored underground, but would 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.


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