Australia’s Woodside plans carbon capture and utilization facility in Perth

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

According to a Woodside statement on Friday, the three firms are investigating the viability of a proposed carbon capture and utilization (CCU) pilot facility in Perth, Western Australia.

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.

Moreover, 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 said.

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

FEED phase

Woodside said the project has already entered the front-end engineering design phase.

The move is a part of Woodside’s climate strategy. In December last year, Woodside said it would invest $5 billion in emerging new energy markets such as hydrogen by 2030.

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 decarbonization benefit. Products such as ethanol can be used as raw materials in the chemical manufacturing industry,” O’Neill said.

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

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