A new breakthrough in the transportation fuel world could also have the added merit of reducing harmful flare gas emissions.
The announcement from Carbon Sciences, Inc. (OTC BB: CABN.OB) regarding its new CarbonCrude™ technology is worth noting for its potential alone. The practice of flaring to burn off excess natural gas has proven to be a serious contributor to carbon emissions.
A recent study by GE Energy on flare gas trends reveals 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas are flared each year. This is equivalent to the emissions from 77 million cars, and about 5% of the world's natural gas resources. Recent attempts to alleviate this problem using pipelines to transport the gas to other areas of need has only provided a partial solution.
Carbon Sciences is hoping its CarbonCrude™ technology could also be added to the list.
The CarbonCrude process consists of two steps. The first step relies on the company’s breakthrough natural gas reforming catalyst that consumes carbon dioxide to produce syngas. The carbon dioxide required for this step can often be found in the natural gas stream, by flaring some of the gas and capturing the CO2, or by capturing CO2 from local power generators.
The second step is a low-intensity Fischer-Tropsch process that converts syngas into low cost CarbonCrude, instead of a high cost complete fuel.
“The company’s CarbonCrude solution was developed for a small scale GTL operation that can convert oil field natural gas into CarbonCrude, our version of an ultra-clean and environmentally friendly synthetic crude oil," Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences, commented.
"Existing refineries can then process this blended crude oil into a variety of products, including transportation fuels.” Mr. Elton continued, “Another benefit for oil field operators is that our CarbonCrude solution eliminates the need for separate natural gas infrastructure within the oil field operations.”
Carbon Sciences is targeting the niche market of small to mid-sized oil fields where natural gas saving techniques are not always considered economically viable.
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