Lummus Technology and Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp. announced a collaboration agreement that will have both companies pursuing carbon capture projects. Photo courtesy of Toshiba

Two global companies have announced a collaborative effort toward pursuing carbon capture projects.

Toshiba’s subsidiary Toshiba Energy Systems will provide its advanced amine-based solvents, which are specifically tailored for post-combustion carbon capture, as well as its “system design guidelines” aimed for Toshiba’s solvents. Houston-based Lummus Technology will provide its post-combustion carbon capture technology.

Lummus’ access to Toshiba’s advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon capture solvents and technology will be vital for the project. Toshiba’s amine-based post-combustion carbon has been used in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan, and have allowed capturing of over 600 tons per day of CO2. With this access, Lummus can integrate its technology into project designs, and deliver “operational excellence and a competitive cost structure for customers,” according to the company.

Lummus can offer clients an OPEX-competitive solution by incorporating Toshiba’s advanced solvents that will be characterized by reduced amine emissions, lower specific energy consumption per ton of CO2 absorbed, and higher solvent stability against degradation.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Lummus to introduce our advanced amine-based solvent and CO2 capture solution to a broader audience,” Shinya Fujitsuka, senior vice president of Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp., says in a news release. “Addressing the urgent need for decarbonization is paramount, and I have every confidence that our partnership with Lummus will enable us to make meaningful contributions towards achieving this goal.”

Both companies have been active in these innovations for years. Lummus has been a leader in post-combustion carbon capture technology since the 1990s by using latest generation solvent technology that provides the full design involving an absorber and solvent regeneration systems, which can be applied to complex combustion flue gas streams. Since 2007, Toshiba has been considered an industry leader in post-combustion amine-based solvent CO2 capture technology.

“I am excited about our partnership with Toshiba, which expands Lummus’ range of low carbon solutions and aligns with our commitment to lowering emissions for the downstream energy industry,” Leon de Bruyn, president and CEO of Lummus Technology, says in the release. “Combining Lummus’ post-combustion carbon capture technology with Toshiba’s highly competitive solvents and technology gives our customers a strong option for CAPEX and OPEX solutions as they advance their carbon capture investments.”

Lummus has recently secured other partnerships with Dongyang Environment Group to roll out Lummus' advanced plastics recycling technology in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea, and will be operated by Dongyang Environment's subsidiary, Seohae Green Chemical. Lummus also paired with Citroniq Chemicals to build North American plants that produce green polypropylene.

Lummus and Citroniq say their first plant, set for completion in 2027, will produce 400,000 metric tons of green polypropylene each year. Photo via lummustechnology.com

Houston companies partner on sustainable plastics alternative

green polypropylene

Two Houston companies, Lummus Technology and Citroniq Chemicals, have paired up to build North American plants that produce green polypropylene.

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic used to manufacture items such as plastic packaging, plastic parts, medical supplies, textiles, and fibers. Green polypropylene is made from biomass.

Lummus and Citroniq say their first plant, set for completion in 2027, will produce 400,000 metric tons of green polypropylene each year. The plant will be at an undisclosed location in the Midwest.

In April, Lummus and Citroniq signed a letter of intent to develop Citroniq green polypropylene projects in North America using Lummus’ Verdenesuite of polypropylene technology. Their newly announced licensing and engineering agreements apply to the first of four planned facilities.

“This agreement demonstrates the progress we continue to make with Citroniq in establishing the first world-scale sustainable bio-polypropylene production process in North America,” Romain Lemoine, chief business officer for polymers and petrochemicals at Lummus, says in a news release.

“Combining Lummus’ leadership in polypropylene licensing with Citroniq’s carbon-negative production capabilities will help us meet the growing demand for bio-polypropylene and accelerate the decarbonization of the downstream energy industry,” Lemoine adds.

Citroniq says it’s investing more than $5 billion to expand its E2O process. The process produces carbon-negative plastics and hydrogen-and-carbon compounds called olefins from fully sustainable feedstocks. This eliminates the use of convention fossil-fuel hydrocarbons, Citroniq says.

Mel Badheka, principal and co-founder of Citroniq, says his company aims “to meet the market’s growing need for sustainable carbon-negative polypropylene at a competitive price.”

The global market for green polypropylene was valued at $123.5 billion in 2022, according to Grand View Research. Growth in the sector is being driven in part by the construction industry, the firm says.

Lummus Technology will roll out its advanced plastics recycling technology in South Korea. Photo via Canva

Houston company secures deal to launch recycling tech in South Korea

growing biz

A Houston-based company with a suite of technologies and energy solutions has announced a new deal that will take its business to South Korea.

Lummus Technology reached an agreement with Dongyang Environment Group to roll out Lummus' advanced plastics recycling technology in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea, and will be operated by Dongyang Environment's subsidiary, Seohae Green Chemical.

"We are pleased to announce this agreement with Dongyang Environment, one of South Korea's leading providers of energy and environmental services," Greg Shumake, vice president and managing director of Green Circle, says in a press release. "This is a significant step forward in our commitment to the circular economy and to deploying advanced plastics recycling technology in South Korea and other key markets around the world."

Lummus' Green Circle technology converts plastic waste into chemicals and feedstocks, creating circularity. The platform "concentrates and expands Lummus Technology’s capabilities to capture new opportunities in the energy transition and circular economy," per the release.

"Dongyang's resource recycling and energy conversion expertise and Lummus' world-class technology will create strong synergies," Byung Jin Song, the head of Dongyang Environment R&D center, says in the release. "Additionally, Dongyang will strengthen its position in the chemical recycling industry, offering more sustainable products and increased value to our customers."

Last month, Lummus remarked that its interested in expanding contracts in the Middle East.

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Energy industry veteran named CEO of Houston hydrogen co.

GOOD AS GOLD

Cleantech startup Gold H2, a spinout of Houston-based energy biotech company Cemvita, has named oil and gas industry veteran Prabhdeep Singh Sekhon as its CEO.

Sekhon previously held roles at companies such as NextEra Energy Resources and Hess. Most recently, he was a leader on NextEra’s strategy and business development team.

Gold H2 uses microbes to convert oil and gas in old, uneconomical wells into clean hydrogen. The approach to generating clean hydrogen is part of a multibillion-dollar market.

Gold H2 spun out of Cemvita last year with Moji Karimi, co-founder of Cemvita, leading the transition. Gold H2 spun out after successfully piloting its microbial hydrogen technology, producing hydrogen below 80 cents per kilogram.

The Gold H2 venture had been a business unit within Cemvita.

“I was drawn to Gold H2 because of its innovative mission to support the U.S. economy in this historical energy transition,” Sekhon says in a news release. “Over the last few years, my team [at NextEra] was heavily focused on the commercialization of clean hydrogen. When I came across Gold H2, it was clear that it was superior to each of its counterparts in both cost and [carbon intensity].”

Gold H2 explains that oil and gas companies have wrestled for decades with what to do with exhausted oil fields. With Gold H2’s first-of-its-kind biotechnology, these companies can find productive uses for oil wells by producing clean hydrogen at a low cost, the startup says.

“There is so much opportunity ahead of Gold H2 as the first company to use microbes in the subsurface to create a clean energy source,” Sekhon says. “Driving this dynamic industry change to empower clean hydrogen fuel production will be extremely rewarding.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

Q&A: CEO of bp-acquired RNG producer on energy sustainability, stability

the view from heti

bp’s Archaea Energy is the largest renewable natural gas (RNG) producer in the U.S., with an industry leading RNG platform and expertise in developing, constructing and operating RNG facilities to capture waste emissions and convert them into low carbon fuel.

Archaea partners with landfill owners, farmers and other facilities to help them transform their feedstock sources into RNG and convert these facilities into renewable energy centers.

Starlee Sykes, Archaea Energy’s CEO, shared more about bp’s acquisition of the company and their vision for the future.

HETI: bp completed its acquisition of Archaea in December 2022. What is the significance of this acquisition for bp, and how does it bolster Archaea’s mission to create sustainability and stability for future generations?  

Starlee Sykes: The acquisition was an important move to accelerate and grow our plans for bp’s bioenergy transition growth engine, one of five strategic transition growth engines. Archaea will not only play a pivotal role in bp’s transition and ambition to reach net zero by 2050 or sooner but is a key part of bp’s plan to increase biogas supply volumes.

HETI: Tell us more about how renewable natural gas is used and why it’s an important component of the energy transition?  

SS: Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a type of biogas generated by decomposing organic material at landfill sites, anaerobic digesters and other waste facilities – and demand for it is growing. Our facilities convert waste emissions into renewable natural gas. RNG is a lower carbon fuel, which according to the EPA can help reduce emissions, improve local air quality, and provide fuel for homes, businesses and transportation. Our process creates a productive use for methane which would otherwise be burned or vented to the atmosphere. And in doing so, we displace traditional fossil fuels from the energy system.

HETI: Archaea recently brought online a first-of-its-kind RNG plant in Medora, Indiana. Can you tell us more about the launch and why it’s such a significant milestone for the company?  

SS:Archaea’s Medora plant came online in October 2023 – it was the first Archaea RNG plant to come online since bp’s acquisition. At Medora, we deployed the Archaea Modular Design (AMD) which streamlines and accelerates the time it takes to build our plants. Traditionally, RNG plants have been custom-built, but AMD allows plants to be built on skids with interchangeable components for faster builds.

HETI: Now that the Medora plant is online, what does the future hold? What are some of Archaea’s priorities over the next 12 months and beyond?  

SS: We plan to bring online around 15 RNG plants in each of 2024 and 2025. Archaea has a development pipeline of more than 80 projects that underpin the potential for around five-fold growth in RNG production by 2030.

We will continue to operate around 50 sites across the US – including RNG plants, digesters and landfill gas-to-electric facilities.

And we are looking to the future. For example, at our Assai plant in Pennsylvania, the largest RNG plant in the US, we are in the planning stages to drill a carbon capture sequestration (CCS) appraisal well to determine if carbon dioxide sequestration could be feasible at this site, really demonstrating our commitment to decarbonization and the optionality in value we have across our portfolio.

HETI: bp has had an office in Washington, DC for many years. Can you tell us more about the role that legislation has to play in the energy transition? 

SS: Policy can play a critical role in advancing the energy transition, providing the necessary support to accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We actively advocate for such policies through direct lobbying, formal comments and testimony, communications activities and advertising. We also advocate with regulators to help inform their rulemakings, as with the US Environmental Protection Agency to support the finalization of a well-designed electric Renewable Identification Number (eRIN) program.

HETI: Science and innovation are key drivers of the energy transition. In your view, what are some of most exciting innovations supporting the goal to reach net-zero emissions?  

SS: We don’t just talk about innovation in bp, we do it – and have been for many years. This track record gives us confidence in continuing to transform, change and innovate at pace and scale. The Archaea Modular Design is a great example of the type of innovation that bp supports which enables us to pursue our goal of net-zero emissions.

Beyond Archaea, we have engineers and scientists across bp who are working on innovative solutions with the goal of lowering emissions. We believe that we need to invest in lower carbon energy to meet the world’s climate objectives, but we also need to invest in today’s energy system, which is primarily hydrocarbon focused. It’s an ‘and’ not ‘or’ approach, and we need both to be successful.

Learn more about Archaea and the work they are doing in energy transition.

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This article originally ran on the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative blog. HETI exists to support Houston's future as an energy leader. For more information about the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, EnergyCapitalHTX's presenting sponsor, visit htxenergytransition.org.

Chevron, TotalEnergies back energy storage startup's $15.8M series A

money moves

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.