Adnoc to pilot project that converts carbon dioxide into rocks

The project, due to begin in Fujairah this month, will use British-Omani company 44.01's carbon capture and mineralisation technology to eliminate the compound from the atmosphere

Executives from Adnoc, Masdar, the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation and British-Omani company 44.01 at the signing ceremony. Photo: Adnoc
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Adnoc will undertake a pilot project with British-Omani sustainability company 44.01 to permanently convert carbon dioxide from the air into a mineral within rock formations in Fujairah.

The project, which is also being carried out in partnership with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation and Masdar, will involve the use of technology that permanently mineralises carbon dioxide within rock formations found in Fujairah, Adnoc said at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week event on Tuesday.

The project is due to begin this month and will use 44.01’s carbon capture and mineralisation (CCM) technology to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

It will be powered by solar energy supplied by Masdar, and is the first CCM project by an energy company in the Middle East, Adnoc said.

“We are committed to finding new ways to decarbonise our operations while meeting our responsibility to supply vital energy to the world,” said Sophie Hildebrand, chief technology officer of Adnoc.

“As the first energy company in the region to run a carbon-negative project of this kind, this pilot marks the latest step in our $15 billion investment into projects that will reduce our carbon footprint and help us achieve our Net Zero by 2050 ambition.”

The project is due to begin this month and will use 44.01’s carbon capture and mineralisation (CCM) technology. Photo: 44.01

Earlier this month, Adnoc said it would invest $15 billion in a range of decarbonisation projects by 2030, including clean power, carbon capture and storage, further electrification of operations, energy efficiency and new measures to build on its policy of zero-routine gas flaring.

Last month, the state energy company also set up a new low-carbon solutions and international growth unit that will focus on renewable energy, clean hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, as well as an international expansion into gas, liquefied natural gas and chemicals.

Adnoc, responsible for most of the UAE’s oil and gas output, has been investing heavily in the production of natural gas and hydrogen as the Arab country looks to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The company also said it had been meeting 100 per cent of its power requirements from solar and nuclear since January 2022, following an agreement with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company.

In the pilot programme, carbon dioxide will be captured from the air, dissolved in seawater and then injected into peridotite formations deep underground, where it will be mineralised to make sure that it cannot escape back into the atmosphere, Adnoc said.

The project is being carried out in Fujairah due to the emirate's abundance of peridotite, a form of rock that naturally reacts with carbon dioxide to mineralise it.

A successful pilot would open the possibility of mineralising billions of tonnes of captured carbon dioxide across the region, Adnoc said.

“Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is vital if we are to halt and ultimately reverse climate change,” said Talal Hasan, founder and chief executive of 44.01.

“Unlike carbon dioxide storage, mineralisation removes carbon dioxide permanently by turning it into rock, minimising the need for long-term monitoring and insurance.

“This pilot will enable us to test our technology at scale, on our way to offering a safe, cost-effective, natural solution for eliminating captured carbon dioxide internationally.”

44.01, which is named after the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, aims to have mineralised a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2040.

Updated: January 17, 2023, 1:42 PM
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