Woodside launches carbon capture and utilisation pilot

Gas pipelines with hazy sky above gas plant chimney stack (Carbon Woodside)
Image: Shutterstock

Australian energy company Woodside and US-based technology developers ReCarbon and LanzaTech have launched a collaborative studies program aimed at converting carbon emissions into useful products.

Together, Woodside, ReCarbon and LanzaTech are investigating the viability of a proposed Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) pilot facility in Perth, Western Australia.

Related article: Court dismisses environmental challenge against Woodside

The proposed pilot facility would recycle greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into value-added ethanol using ReCarbon and Lanzatech’s technologies. The ReCarbon technology would convert carbon dioxide and methane into synthesis gas, with the LanzaTech technology fermenting the synthesis gas into ethanol. Traditionally, ethanol manufacture relies on land and water use for source crops, such as corn. CCU reduces the reliance on these natural resources.

Woodside believes CCU is an emerging field with growing demand from existing and potential customers seeking alternative solutions for lower carbon.

This collaboration and proposed pilot demonstrate Woodside’s commitment to developing new energy products and lower-carbon services.
The project is now in the front-end engineering design phase.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill described CCU as an exciting addition to the portfolio as it looked at carbon as an opportunity and resource, not just a challenge.

“What’s notable about CCU is the wider co-benefits. Some end products have a further decarbonisation benefit. Products such as ethanol can be used as raw materials in the chemical manufacturing industry.

“We also see a potential role for the technology in helping to abate some of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” she said.

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator is currently leading a co-design process to develop a carbon capture use and storage method under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

ReCarbon Founder and CEO Dr Jay Kim welcomed the collaboration.

“The global energy and fuel sector is experiencing unprecedented transition. We are grateful to be selected as a leading technology solution to transform greenhouse gases into decarbonised products. Woodside is moving decisively by establishing real projects with its CCU initiative, and ReCarbon is proud to play our part,” he said.

Related article: CCUS agreement inked between Korea and Australia

LanzaTech CEO Dr Jennifer Holmgren noted the scale of the opportunity.

“Waste carbon can be transformed into critical resources like ethanol without adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Together with Woodside and ReCarbon, we can create an opportunity to reuse greenhouse gases for meaningful applications,” she said.

Previous articleGovernment unveils $500m in critical minerals funding
Next articleEsso to develop additional gas for domestic supply