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2 Houston energy companies team up for low-carbon ammonia initiative

KBR and Air Liquide are combining their efforts to advance the energy transition. Photo via airliquide.com

Two companies with large presences in Houston have partnered to provide low-carbon ammonia to customers.

Houston-based KBR (NYSE: KBR), an engineering services company, and Air Liquide, a have announced a large-scale low-carbon ammonia partnership that will offer KBR customers a more sustainable option through Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology.

As far as the collaborative partnership goes, KBR brings its ammonia synthesis technology to the table while Air Liquide has significant experience with ATR for large scale syngas production applications.

"Our differentiated ammonia synthesis technology has been the preferred choice for decades, with complete solutions for blue and green ammonia and large-scale capacity ...," says Doug Kelly, KBR president of technology, in a news release. "The addition of ATR technology further complements our clean ammonia offerings as we work to advance technology solutions to decarbonize the world."

Michael J. Graff, executive vice president of Air Liquide Group, which has its United States headquarters in Houston, says in the release that the combined efforts will help move the sector on its its low-carbon transition. When paired with carbon capture, the new partnered solution will result in preventing 99 percent of carbon emissions, per the release.

"This further illustrates Air Liquide's commitment to sustainable development, supporting customers in industry and mobility to decarbonize their products and operations," he says. "This is a core element of our ADVANCE strategic plan, which inseparably links financial and extra financial performance."

According to the company, KBR holds about half of the market share of licensed capacity within ammonia technology, and has "has licensed, engineered, or constructed over 250 grassroot ammonia plants worldwide" since 1943.

In the future, Air Liquide and KBR have plans to contribute development of low-carbon hydrogen as a key enabler of the energy transition.

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A View From HETI

Discovery Green's Earth Day event generated more than 3,800 pounds of garbage — and over 90 percent of it was diverted from landfills. Photo courtesy of Discovery Green

Discovery Green celebrated Earth Day with a major milestone this year — achieving it’s Zero Waste goal.

The nonprofit, along with Citizens’ Environmental Coalition and Houston Public Works, are announced that the 2024 Green Mountain Energy Earth Day, which generated more than 3,800 pounds of garbage, diverted the majority of that waste from landfills. "Zero Waste," as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, is successfully diverting at least 90 percent of waste from the landfill.

On Earth Day, Discovery Green composted 2,200 pounds of waste and recycled 1,300 pounds of trash.

“Part of Discovery Green Conservancy’s mission is to serve as a village green for our city and be a source of health and happiness for all. Our goal is to sustain an exceptional environment for nature and people,” Discover Green President Kathryn Lott says in a news release. “We are beyond thrilled to have achieved Zero Waste certification.”

The achievement was made possible by volunteers from the University of Houston – Downtown.

Steve Stelzer, president of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition’s board of directors, acknowledged how rare the achievement is in a public space in a major city like Houston.

“Discovery Green Conservancy stepped up and made a commitment to weigh, measure and record everything. They should be congratulated to have done this at this scale,” Stelzer adds. “The Conservancy said they were going to do it and they did. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”

The 2024 event included:

  • 31,000 visitors in attendance
  • 60 + exhibitors
  • 100 + volunteers
  • 12 artists
    • 9 chalk artists
    • Donkeeboy and Donkeemom
    • Mark Bradford
  • 25 Mark Bradford artworks made of scrap presented in partnership with Houston First
  • 4 short films shown
  • 3,836.7 pounds of waste collected during Green Mountain Energy Earth Day

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