Decarbonizing the Natural Gas Processing Plants for Hydrogen, and Syngas Production: The Potentials, and the Challenges | AIChE

Decarbonizing the Natural Gas Processing Plants for Hydrogen, and Syngas Production: The Potentials, and the Challenges


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety

Presentation Date

March 13, 2023


26 minutes

Skill Level




At 8.5 GtCO2 in 2020, industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions account for approximately 24% of total global emissions. Therefore, the industrial sector will have to reduce emissions by 1.2% to 7.4 GtCO2 by 2030 to achieve sustainability commitments. Thus, the decarbonization of industries using novel solutions coupled with accelerated use of renewable energy at higher efficiency has been a trend-setting research topic. To this end, natural gas utilization has received tremendous global interest due to being a cleaner alternative and its ability to offer flexibility for use in heating and power generation, as well as acting as a precursor for many chemical products. Furthermore, natural gas-based industrial technologies typically have lower capital costs, operating costs, and electricity consumption than benchmark processes. Natural gas use has also seen significant impetus due to its tremendous availability from cheaper sources, such as shale gas in the United States and natural gas from the middle east. It should be noted that at least 0.2 kg CO2e GHGs are emitted per kg of natural gas produced from Shale gas and conventional recovery processes (as per the GREET 2021 database). This is tremendous, especially when natural gas production is increased for the energy transition. Several proven approaches for handling CO2 emissions from the upstream and the midstream process plants have been developed, such as enhanced oil recovery and geological storage techniques. Nevertheless, stricter environmental regulations and uncertainties pertaining to the re-emission of CO2 from geological sites have encouraged the adoption of chemical conversion techniques.

This presentation will discuss the potential natural gas in the hydrogen era and the future of LNG as part of the global energy mix. Decarbonization of the aforementioned sectors is necessary for their continuing contribution to the energy demand. Our discussion will cover several examples of decarbonizing the industry, including our CARGEN® Technology. The novel CARGEN® process converts industrial GHG emissions to solid carbon material and hydrogen-rich syngas (which is a valuable chemical intermediate for gas to liquid [GTL] processing). More importantly, CARGEN® Technology presents a desirable benefit of decarbonizing Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) process that has a footprint of ~10 kg CO2e/kgH2 by producing almost zero net carbon footprint hydrogen. It should be noted the SMR, and methane decomposition processes together account for more than 90% of global industrial hydrogen production. Thereby, CARGEN® Technology not only presents a centralized decarbonization link between hydrogen production and carbon nanotube production but also offers a substantial competitive advantage of low CAPEX introduction in the existing industries by debottlenecking approach.


  1. Challiwala, Mohamed S., et al. "A novel CO2 utilization technology for the synergistic co-production of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and syngas." Scientific reports 11.1 (2021): 1-8.
  2. Challiwala, Mohamed S., et al. "Turning CO2 into Carbon Nanotubes" Chemical Engineering Progress, October (2020) issue.
  3. Challiwala, Mohamed, et al. "Enhanced CO2 fixation and Syngas production using a two-reactor setup". US20200109050A1; AU2018249486B2; PCT/US2018/025696; WO2018187213
  4. Challiwala, Mohamed S., et al. "Regeneration and Activation of Catalyst for Carbon and Syngas Production". PCT/QA2020/050012; CN114340789; WO/2020/185107; IN202117046468
  5. Challiwala, Mohamed S., et al. "Novel Catalyst for CARGEN™ Process and a method to prepare the same.” PCT/QA2020/050012; EP20202903512; WO2021125990


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