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Exxon tests waters of gassy carbon capture

burn.jpgWhat’s it like to have an angry Rockefeller on your back? Not a pleasant experience, Greenbang reckons, apart from the potentially ear-pleasing sounds of gold bullion dropping from his trouser pocket as you try to shake the blighter off.

One company who could describe the Rockefeller experience is Exxon Mobil, who recently got a slap-down from the family, which holds shares in the oil giant over lack of investment in renewables.

While there’s no word on the renewables front yet, Exxon is experimenting with clean tech in the form of carbon capture.

The company revealed this week that it’s ploughing $100 million into “development and testing of an improved natural gas treating technology” which could boost carbon capture.

Here’s more on the tech itself from Exxon:

The company plans to build a commercial demonstration plant near LaBarge, Wyoming, where it will use ExxonMobil’s Controlled Freeze ZoneTM technology, known as CFZTM. CFZTM is a single-step cryogenic separation process that freezes out and then melts the carbon dioxide and removes other components including hydrogen sulfide, which is found in so-called sour gas. If successful, the process will reduce the cost of carbon dioxide removal from produced natural gas. […]

Using the CFZ™ process, the carbon dioxide and other components are discharged as a high-pressure liquid stream for injection into underground storage or for use in reservoir management to enhance oil recovery. Besides reducing the cost of separation, transportation and reinjection, the CFZ™ process can eliminate the use of solvents, sulfur plants and carbon dioxide venting in processing of the natural gas.

The new demonstration plant will advance the CFZ™ technology to commercial application, and be located at ExxonMobil’s Shute Creek Treating Facility. It will process about 14 million cubic feet of gas per day for injection and test a wide range of gas compositions to evaluate the extent of its applicability to the world’s undeveloped gas resources.

Construction on the plant is scheduled to be finished next year, with two years of testing to follow.

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