Baker Hughes to use mixed-salt process for carbon capture

carbon capture
Image: ExxonMobil

A new deal signed by global energy technology company Baker Hughes will help the company to expand its portfolio of carbon capture technologies.

Baker Hughes has signed an agreement with California-based research institute SRI International to use the organisation’s Mixed-Salt Process (MSP) for carbon capture.

SRI International developed its technology with support from the US Department of Energy through its Office of Fossil Fuel Energy and from the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The MSP combines readily available potassium and ammonia (NH3) salt solutions to enable reduced reboiler and auxiliary electric loads, emissions, and water usage. In addition, the MSP requires a smaller footprint than competing carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) solutions.

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The MSP developed by SRI currently has a technology readiness level of 4 as per the scale defined by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 framework programme.

Baker Hughes will use the technology to further expand its CCUS for applications such as the treatment of flue gases from fossil fueled power plants, gas turbines, industrial applications, and within the cement industry.

The energy technology firm is prioritising the use of carbon capture to accelerate its decarbonisation and net-zero goals.

In the energy and industrial sectors, carbon capture is among the most viable decarbonisation paths for both retrofitting existing assets and greenfield projects, according to a statement.

Manish Kothari, president of SRI International, said: “The Mixed Salt Process combines an efficient, post-combustion carbon capture process that uses a novel solvent formulation that relies on commodity chemicals. Our process has the benefits of a low manufacturing carbon footprint, reduced energy consumption and greater efficiency. The technology also differentiates itself from other state-of-the-art amine-based carbon capture technologies by negligible solvent-degradation and reduced water use, as well as the fact it uses a widely available and environmentally friendly solvent.”

Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes, adds: “Technology plays a key role in ensuring that new energy frontiers such as CCUS are cost-competitive and sustainable.

“In this period of CCUS market formation we are strategically and purposefully investing in the development and industrialisation of innovative technologies to be deployed in a cost-effective manner once the market reaches maturity. Once commercialised, the MSP has the potential to contribute to the advancement of CCUS, providing a lower-cost and energy-efficient carbon capture solution with reduced emissions, making it ideal for commercial applications.”

The announcement follows Baker Hughes acquiring Compact Carbon Capture in November 2020.

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