Air Products has celebrated the successful operation of a United States Department of Energy (DOE) Demonstration Project that will capture approximately one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project.

From the project, the DOE anticipates an additional estimated 1.6-3.1 million barrels of oil to be produced annually from the CO2 injection.

Described as ‘unprecedented’, this achievement comes by way of an Air Products innovative technology, is the first-of-its-kind operating at such a large scale, and has not been accomplished anywhere else in the US.

“Air Products is very proud to celebrate this Demonstration Project’s success. When you define projects that could be a model of sustainability, it doesn’t get much better than this effort in taking a vented greenhouse gas and capturing it, cleaning it up, and sequestering it in the process of increasing the output of a valuable domestic natural resource like crude oil,” said Jeff Byrne, Vice-President and General Manager – Tonnage Gases at Air Products.

The DOE described the project as a milestone in its Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) programme. Air Products’ carbon capture project in Port Arthur, Texas recovers and purifies the CO2, all of which is then transported in its gaseous state by Air Products via a pipeline owned by Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC for injection into the Denbury Onshore operated West Hastings Unit, an EOR project in Texas.

Air Products designed, constructed, and is now operating the state-of-the-art system to capture CO2 from its steam methane reformers (SMR) located within the Valero Port Arthur Refinery. The CO2 removal technology was retrofitted to the SMRs, which produce hydrogen to assist in the making of cleaner burning transportation fuels by refinery customers on Air Products’ Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network.

DOE provided a significant portion of the funding (66%) for the over $400m project. The DOE has estimated that Air Products’ Port Arthur Project will assist in the recovery of 1.6-3.1 million additional barrels of domestic oil annually.