Blue Hydrogen Firing or Flue Gas Carbon Capture? Tailored Options for Steam Cracker CO2 Elimination | AIChE

Blue Hydrogen Firing or Flue Gas Carbon Capture? Tailored Options for Steam Cracker CO2 Elimination


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety

Presentation Date

March 13, 2023


21 minutes

Skill Level




Near-zero emission olefin plants can be designed today by applying approaches characterized by elimination/capture of the generated carbon dioxide resulting from combusting or converting carbon-containing fuels. In the context of steam crackers, commercially ready solutions are available for “Post-combustion CO2 capture” in the form of flue gas washing units, and “Pre-combustion CO2 capture” in the form of “blue” hydrogen firing.

This paper will give an introduction into these fundamentally different solution approaches for petrochemical applications. It is outlined how new or existing steam crackers can be equipped or retrofitted with flue gas carbon capture units and it is described how CO2 emission sources from one or multiple petrochemical sites can be decarbonized by setting up a blue hydrogen plant and/or supply network. The importance of integrated solutions is described, highlighting required design changes to the cracking furnaces to accommodate hydrogen firing or flue gas carbon capture as well as possible design features for the cracker separation section.

Profound experience across multiple technology fields and industries, including petrochemical, hydrogen and CO2 processing plants, is required to evaluate the wide range of decision criteria influencing the concept selection for given site-, project- and customer-specific constraints. This conference contribution introduces and comments the most important rationales for concept selection.

Finally, examples of decarbonizing world-scale petrochemical sites with different individual constrains will be presented. The paper will highlight how a holistic approach by an experienced licensor can support the solution definition in such a multi-criteria decision process.


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