ExxonMobil (XOM) and FuelCell Energy said Wednesday they’ve signed a new, two-year, expanded joint-development agreement to further enhance carbonate fuel cell technology, Kallanish Energy reports.
The agreement, worth up to $60 million, will focus efforts on optimizing the core technology, overall process integration and large-scale deployment of carbon capture solutions.
ExxonMobil is exploring options to conduct a pilot test of next-generation fuel cell carbon capture solution at one of its operating sites.
Carbon capture technologies
“ExxonMobil is working to advance carbon capture technologies while reducing costs and enhancing scalability,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of Research and Development for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co.
“This expanded agreement with FuelCell Energy will enable further progress on this unique carbon capture solution that has the potential to achieve meaningful reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial operations.”
FuelCell Energy’s proprietary technology uses carbonate fuel cells to capture and concentrate carbon dioxide streams from large industrial sources. Combustion exhaust is directed to the fuel cell, which produces power while capturing and concentrating carbon dioxide for permanent storage.
A more cost-efficient path
The modular design enables the technology to be deployed at a wide range of locations, which could lead to a more cost-efficient path for large-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.
“Today’s announcement underscores our leadership position in fuel cell technology,” said Jason Few, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy. “We have a great opportunity to scale and commercialize our unique carbon capture solution, one that captures about 90% of carbon dioxide from various exhaust streams, while generating additional power, unlike traditional carbon capture technologies which consume significant power.”
ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy began working together in 2016, with a focus on better understanding the fundamental science behind carbonate fuel cells and how to increase efficiency in separating and concentrating CO2 from the exhaust of natural gas-fueled power generation.
The new agreement will prioritize the optimization of the core carbon capture technology for integration into large-scale industrial facilities such as refineries and chemical plants.
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