Heavy industry and marine transport comprise above 30% of annual GHG emissions. To avoid intermittency and with desire to control energy input to optimize revenues, the plants normally have their own power supply running on natural gas, oil, or coal, and renewable energy is not a sustainable decarbonization solution. Energy carriers such as H2 are far from being sustainable from supply chain and economic perspectives.
Carbon capture represents a potentially attractive alternative, enabling industry to start the decarbonization journey while utilizing the existing supply chain of carbon-based fuels. However, current solutions are neither economically nor technically feasible for many industrial segments due to the physical scale of the equipment. Most are inefficient for exhaust from natural gas or fuel oil due to lower CO2-concentration. And they are based on potentially toxic amines, causing concern particularly in offshore and shipping, necessitating the use of both heat and power.
Enter the Aqualung membrane. Testing in industry has shown exceptional performance, which indicates an economically attractive system at today's ETS-price even for space-constrained assets utilizing natural gas or fuel oil. The concept is a unique and patented coating system which can be applied to off-the-shelf membrane hollow-fibres. No absorbents are utilized, significantly simplifying operations and installation. As the membrane modules are widely available, Aqualung can provide a solution immediately if the coating process can be industrialized, keeping the high performance and durability from small-scale. The project funded by NRC brings together Aqualung with leading membrane producers and the world-class research team in NTNU to work collectively to integrate the technology within the existing membrane supply chain. This would enable Aqualung to run commercial pilots leading into projects with decarbonization potential of several million tons of CO2 already from 2023.