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Hydrogen Power

GE and BP team up on projects to produce H2 from fossil fuels while sequestering CO2

by Marc S. Reisch
July 24, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 30

Two iconic firms have teamed up to develop and deploy as many as 15 commercial hydrogen power projects over the next decade.

The oil giant BP and electricity-generation equipment maker GE have already begun work on two projects. Both will convert fossil fuels into hydrogen that will be burned to generate electric power from turbines. The companies will capture and sequester 90% of the carbon dioxide created in the process and then inject it into deep geological formations.

The projects will demonstrate that hydrogen is "efficient, reliable, and economical for large-scale commercial power production," says David L. Calhoun, CEO of GE Infrastructure. "Our financial strength will ensure it happens now globally, changing the way we envision our energy future."

In Peterhead, Scotland, the firms are cooperating on a 475-MW hydrogen-fired power plant based on natural gas that should begin operating in 2010. They plan to sequester 1.8 million metric tons of CO2 per year 4,000 feet below the seabed in the nearby Miller oil field. The CO2 will enable the production of 40 million barrels of oil that otherwise might not have been recoverable, the firms say.

In Carson, Calif., petroleum coke, a refinery by-product, will serve as the hydrogen source for a 500-MW power-generating project due in 2011. The partners will capture and sequester 4 million metric tons of CO2 per year, which will also be used to enhance oil production.

In March, Shell and Statoil announced the world's first project to capture CO2 generated at a gas-fired power plant for use in enhancing offshore oil production (C&EN, March 20, page 9). However, that project does not have the hydrogen component that the GE and BP projects do.



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