Are the technologies proposed for the HECA facility proven?

The HECA facility will use existing proven technologies, but will be one of the first in the world to group them together to generate a stable and predictable source of electricity using clean hydrogen.

HECA’s unique process converts coal, petroleum coke and brackish water into liquefied hydrogen and CO2. The clean hydrogen will be used to generate low-carbon electricity for 160,000 homes and to create low-carbon fertilizer products, while the CO2 will be permanently and safely captured, and put to good use for enhanced oil recovery.

Pipeline Transport: Pipelines are recognized as the safest and most efficient method to transport liquids and gases. In North America, CO2 pipelines have a safe operation history spanning decades, with more than 3,000 miles in active service. HECA’s pipeline will be buried and routed in a way to minimize environmental impacts and will be subject to strict regulations and reports. Special construction techniques will be used to enable the pipeline to safely pass under an aqueduct to ensure the integrity of the waterway and the pipeline. Emergency shutdown valves are positioned at regular intervals along the pipeline, and can be closed to ensure the containment of the CO2 in the event of an emergency.

CO2 transport is a long standing activity in the North Sea, Algeria and the Permian Basin of West Texas.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) with Permanent CO2 Storage: In a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), HECA’s CO2 will enable five million additional barrels of domestic oil production per year. CO2 injection for EOR has been a commonly used technique in the U.S. for more three decades. For millions of years, the Elk Hills Oil Field’s domelike sandstone formation has trapped oil within its tiny pore spaces. When mixed with CO2 from the HECA facility, oil will swell through the pore spaces, which allows it to easily flow towards the production well. This results in 10-30% more domestic oil production. The CO2 will then safely mineralize 6,000 feet underground, which is equivalent to four Empire State buildings stacked one on top of another. Meanwhile, HECA uses a “closed loop process” to ensure that CO2 is permanently retained within the rock formation as the oil flushes out.

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