Multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil is working towards a clean energy future. They are embarking on a process of introducing technology into industrial plants that will make them more sustainable into the future.

A new television advert from the company shows that their engineers and scientists are working towards refining carbon capture technology for industrial plants. By replicating the real process of how plants capture carbon dioxide, they are hoping industrial plants and power stations could do the same.

The World Economic Forum is suggesting that carbon capture ‘could be the game-changer the world needs with investment into clean energy technologies being a crucial move. According to the IPCC SR 15 report, investment into clean energy and energy efficiency technology needs to increase ‘by roughly a factor of five’ by 2050 if we are to keep global warming at 1.5 Celsius.

This is especially important for engineering industries as 60% of the world’s carbon emissions come from industrial sites and power plants.


Due to these alarming statistics, investment into carbon capture and storage (CCS) is getting more attention than any point in recent history. Industry experts predict that 90% of the world’s C02 emissions could be captured and stored underground. However, carbon capture has to use energy to capture the Co2, which is problematic in itself.

Brad Page, the CEO of the Global CCS Institute writes:

“The truth is that CCS has much wider applications. It remains the only technology that can deliver deep emissions reductions in hard-to-abate industrial sectors such as steel, fertiliser and cement. Decarbonizing these sectors is not simply about electrifying them with zero-carbon power; most of these processes require either carbon in their chemistry or high heat input, neither of which electricity is able to provide.”

Carbon capture technology can be fitted in industrial plants and power stations to reduce the amount of emissions.  Even a historically fossil-fuel driven company such as ExxonMobil, recognizes the importance of doing their part towards change for a sustainable future.

Dr Faith Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency said:

“Without CCS as part of the solution, meeting global climate goals will be practically impossible.”


Further emission reductions

ExxonMobil has been hard at work for the last decade, trying to bring about the future of biofuels. By mass-growing algae’s they hope it will turn into low-emissions biofuels that can reinvent the transportation industry.

On their Twitter page, they highlighted the work they have been doing in the biofuel industry with this timeline:

2009: ExxonMobil joined forces with Synthetic Genomics Inc to create the renewable energy of the future.

2010: Opened a greenhouse at La Jolla, California Campus. Inside that greenhouse Exxonmobil scientists would begin growing algae.

2017: ExxonMobil reports they have made a breakthrough. They say they have discovered a fatter, energy-rich algae strain.

2018: They moved to an outdoor facility at SGI’s California Advanced Algal Facility. This was done to test how large a scale they could grow algae at.

2025: By this year they aim to reach the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel per day.

Algae Research Technician at ExxonMobil, Megan Ruhmel explains:

“Algae’s create three things: proteins, sugars and fats. The fuel is actually going to come from the fat part of the algae. Normal algae strains don’t make enough fat for us to get fuel out of. So, we want to make them even fatter than they already are so we can grab the oil from the fat.”


Works Cited

Page, Brad, and Global CCS Institute. “Why Carbon Capture Could Be the Game-Changer the World Needs.” World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/03/why-carbon-capture-could-be-the-game-changer-the-world-needs/.

Singapore, ExxonMobil. “We've Had Many Proud Moments on Our Nearly 10-Year Journey to Convert Algae to Low-Emission Biofuel. Here Are a Few of Our Favorites. #UnexpectedEnergy Pic.twitter.com/wPrh0fdiYA.” Twitter, Twitter, 7 Feb. 2019, twitter.com/exxonmobil_sg/status/1093328492857569280.

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