ExxonMobil, FuelCell Energy to pilot carbon capture technology in Rotterdam
Photo courtesy of ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil, FuelCell Energy to pilot carbon capture technology in Rotterdam

ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Nederland BV is set to build a pilot plant at its Rotterdam Manufacturing Complex to test a groundbreaking carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology for carbon capture. This initiative, developed in collaboration with FuelCell Energy, represents a significant advancement in reducing CO2 emissions from industrial sources.

The pilot plant aims to gather data on the performance and operability of the CFC technology, jointly developed with FuelCell Energy. The project will address potential technical issues in a commercial environment and assess the costs of installing and operating a CFC plant for carbon capture. This marks the first time carbonate fuel cell technology will be piloted in an industrial setting.

Strategic location and future deployment

Esso’s Rotterdam integrated manufacturing site, chosen for this pilot, could lead to the deployment of this technology at ExxonMobil’s manufacturing sites worldwide, pending a successful demonstration.

Carbonate fuel cells can capture CO2 emissions before their release into the atmosphere while producing valuable co-products. This dual functionality increases the efficiency of the capture process and offers additional value streams, reducing the cost of carbon capture and storage.

The modular design of CFC technology enables carbon capture across various deployment scales. Once technically ready for broadscale implementation, it could offer economical decarbonisation solutions for a wide range of industries, contributing to a net-zero future.

Geoff Richardson, SVP of Commercial and Business Development for ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, highlighted the technology’s ability to capture CO2 and produce low-carbon power, heat, and hydrogen. “We are excited to pilot this innovation at our Rotterdam facility,” he said.

FuelCell Energy’s Role

Jason Few,pPresident and CEO of FuelCell Energy, emphasised the efficiency of capturing carbon at the source. “This technology can capture carbon and produce electricity simultaneously, making it a game-changer in the industry,” he said.

The pilot project is co-funded by the European Union under the Emissions Trading System Innovation Fund and by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency through a Demonstration Energy and Climate Innovation (DEI+) grant.