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Recycling CO2

Sasol’s Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology offers the opportunity to recycle the CO2 captured by DAC back into the process as feedstock to replace the dependency on fossil fuels and produce sustainably sourced carbon products such as green chemicals, green petrol/diesel, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Sasol has been a global leader in FT synthesis for the past seventy years.

About Sasol

Sasol is a global supplier to a wide variety of industries, comprised of three distinct market-focused businesses: chemicals, energy, and Sasol ecoFT. Their portfolio is underpinned by a transition to a lower-carbon future. Through proprietary technologies and processes, the main products Sasol produces are fuel components, chemical components, and co-products for a number of applications.

Sasol has a proven track record in developing, commercializing, and integrating new technologies into existing value chains. Its existing, well-established research and technology facility in Sasolburg, South Africa is earmarked to serve as a center of excellence for technology demonstration through international collaborations, knowledge, and skills development. It will showcase the integration of emerging technologies like DAC into complex industrial operations – an essential first step for the decarbonisation of several South African industries – enabling Sasol to meet its net zero by 2050 commitments. 

Approach to Sustainability

Sasol safely and sustainably sources, produces, and markets a range of high-quality products, creating value for stakeholders. Their purpose – ‘Innovating for a better world’ – compels them to deliver on triple bottom line outcomes of people, planet, and profit responsibly, and always with the intent to be a force for good. 

Desired Challenge Outcomes:

Ultimately, to transition Sasol’s Secunda facility to fossil-free operations, and achieve Sasol’s net zero goal, several million tonnes of CO2 may need to be captured via DAC annually. The DAC process will need to be integrated with existing and new CO2 point source capture processes to harness the full potential reduction benefit.

A successful DAC solution will:

Be able to successfully integrate into the Secunda complex

Offer integration of the captured CO2 into the feedstock value chain

to produce low carbon products such as green chemicals, green petrol/diesel, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Be cost-effective

Ideally, capture CO2 from both the air and point sources

Background

Sasol’s ecoFT offers Power-to-X (PtX) licenses and is an excellent example of application of Sasol’s goal to innovate for a better world. This challenge offers an excellent opportunity for integrating DAC technologies into PtX plants. 

Significant benefits can be achieved if a DAC technology can be developed that can efficiently capture CO2 not only from air, but also from a point source. It is expected that this can lead to a more cost-effective integration into (petro)chemical complexes compared to two standalone processes. However, to date there is no report of research focusing on this type of application. Such a process will offer the maximum benefit to both the environment and the operator of the plant.

Considerations

Point source and DAC

The solution should be able to efficiently capture CO2 not only from air, but also from a point source

Strategic partnership potential

Sasol will not develop its own proprietary DAC and point source CO2 capture technologies but will rather form strategic partnerships. This applies to both existing facilities and potential future licenses that will be held by ecoFT.

Integration into the feedstock value chain

There are no suitable sequestration locations in the Secunda area, therefore carbon will need to be fed into the feedstock value chain.

Sustainable power source

South Africa’s main electrical power supplier relies mainly on coal as a feedstock. Electricity from sustainable sources are slowly being phased in. However, to enable harnessing the full benefit of DAC it may be required to include a dedicated sustainable electricity supply in the proposed project plan and costing estimates.

Proprietary FT technology

Sasol will continue to use its proprietary FT technology to produce its final products. Integration of the captured carbon into the feedstock value chain needs to take this into consideration, as it may be necessary to convert the captured CO2 to a more appropriate molecule for these purposes.

Evaluation & Eligibility

The most important criteria to determine a good potential solution to this challenge are:

TRL 6+

Late level 5 readiness will only be considered if achieving TRL6 is imminent Canadian.

Canadian

Solution provider must be a Canadian owned company or have primary operations in Canada.

Cost-competitiveness

Current DAC costs are high, therefore cost-effectiveness will be judged based on the potential and predicted timelines to achieve a process cost of no more than $100 USD/ton CO2 captured (post 2030 and beyond cost target).

Integration

Ability to integrate into new and existing facilities

The Opportunity

Sasol has significant experience in CO2 point source capture, handling of chemicals (including hydrogen), and integration of processes. However, Sasol does not have proprietary DAC processes, and would therefore need to form strategic partnerships with companies that offer licensing of such processes. Sasol’s existing operating facilities offer excellent breeding grounds for studying the integration aspects of emerging cost-effective DAC technologies. Sasol’s vast experience in the field of process engineering, integration of processes into complex facilities, and handling a multitude of chemicals and processing facilities can offer insight into the challenges of integrating a DAC process into a (petro)chemical complex and will enable optimisation of all aspects of such an integrated complex.

The winner(s) will have the chance for a 1:1 scoping call with Sasol to explore further opportunities.

Sustainable Development Goals

The SDG Connect program supports achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs address by this Challenge are:

  • Decent work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)
  • Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12)
  • Climate Change (SDG 13)
  • Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17)

This SDG Connect Challenge is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service of Canada and is presented as a part of the carbonNEXT program, a partnership between Foresight and Carbon Management Canada, powered by Scotiabank and Prairies Economic Development Canada.

 

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