Rethinking Clean Energy

CO2 is the Enemy. NOT Gas, Coal, or Oil

Champions of clean energy frequently target criticism on traditional feedstocks like coal and oil and the traditional industrial processes that produce basic materials like steel cement and fertilizers.

The real enemy is carbon dioxide emissions and not coal or gas or oil or nuclear or solar or wind. More importantly, even if renewables were to replace the majority of the thermal electricity generation, the fact is that electricity generation accounts for only 30%-35% of the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In fact, an equal amount of about 30% of the CO2 emissions come from industrial sources which use some form of carbon to produce everyday materials like steel, cement, and plastics, for which there are no substitutes.

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Scaling to Billions of Tons of Carbon Capture & Management Infrastructure

Effective decarbonization requires that carbon capture, management and disposition infrastructure and systems be planned and implemented at “GT scale” (Giga Tonne scale), and not through a piecemeal project-based approach.

Enabling GT scale carbon capture and management requires common, scalable and seamless carbon disposition infrastructure; commoditized cost of carbon capture, storage and disposition; mechanisms for risk transfer & arbitrage for CO2; mechanisms for net-back and utilization of carbon credits; and enabling policy design.

Economically Viable Design is Fundamental to Accelerated Energy Transition

Industries and governments worldwide are seeking paths to transition to cleaner energy systems and are on a search for alternate feedstocks, cleaner supply chain and industrial processes.

Achieving this transition in a cost-effective and scalable manner requires an integrated systems approach across the entire value chain, from raw material supply chains to markets. Economically viable clean energy systems need viable business models, competitive cost structures, reengineered & new clean industrial processes, clean and resilient supply chains, scalable carbon capture technologies, optimal carbon disposition mechanisms and enabling policy & regulatory frameworks.

Dastur Energy designs flexible, scalable and cost-competitive clean energy systems while balancing the investment needs and operating & capital costs that minimize or eliminate the “carbon premium” for industrial implementations.

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Decarbonizing Industrial Activity is Essential to a Net Zero World

Historically the majority of carbon emissions control activity has focussed on electricity generation, mostly at coal-fired plants. However, 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions are industrial in nature, with cement, steel and refineries making up the majority. Many of these large-scale established industrial processes have evolved over time and do not have ready low-carbon alternatives.

Clean energy transitions present us with an opportunity to adopt cleaner industrial process technologies like gasification, low carbon fuel blends & new-age energy carriers, waste gas conditioning & utilization, carbon capture technologies, appropriate carbon disposition and conversion as tools for reducing industrial GHG emissions for steel, aluminium, oil refining, petrochemicals and cement plants.

Dastur Energy assists industrial clients to develop clean energy industrial systems and strategies to meet these goals and objectives.

Hydrogen and Methanol are the Building Blocks for a Clean Energy Future

Just as oil and electricity were the new energy carriers that lighted homes and fuelled vehicles in the 20th century, so does hydrogen hold the promise of being the cleanest fuel for generating baseload power & energy storage, or for use in hydrogenation and other industrial processes. Methanol holds a similar promise in several developing economies.

While green hydrogen is likely to be the energy carrier of choice in the long term, cost-effective & scalable clean hydrogen production in the near future can only be achieved through the conversion of fossil fuels, petroleum residues and biomass.

Clean hydrogen and methanol can be produced at scale through reforming and gasification of abundantly available materials like natural gas, petcoke, biomass, waste and coal, along with cost effective carbon capture. The opportunity of diversifying into a downstream portfolio of high-value hydrocarbons is equally attractive.

Dastur Energy has successfully designed a number of commercial-scale solutions for clients around the world, consisting of a high-value portfolio of hydrogen, methanol and value-added hydrocarbons with excellent production economics, high margins and attractive return on capital.

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Moving from Clean Energy Technologies to Clean Energy Systems

Much of the clean energy projects to date have focussed only on carbon capture technologies without giving due consideration to the overall system design and economics.

An effective clean energy strategy requires a broad-based & holistic design approach across the value chain, to optimize the technology and economics, coupled with suitable carbon disposition strategies. This requires an integrated design approach, and not a compartmentalized approach focussing only on the carbon capture technology.

A systems approach to clean energy design integrates feedstocks, production processes, gas conditioning, capture, disposition and conversion in the most optimal and economically viable manner. This approach is distinctly different from merely retrofitting an existing industrial system with a carbon capture unit.