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Adnoc calls on Earthshot Prize winner for decarbonisation pilot

Decrabonisation Supplied
Adnoc is partnering with Oman's 44.01 to pilot technology that mineralises carbon dioxide within rock formations found in Fujairah
  • Pilot aims to mineralise captured CO2 across the region
  • Adnoc is committed to reducing carbon intensity by 25% by 2023

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) announced on Tuesday a partnership to pilot technology that permanently mineralises carbon dioxide within rock formations found in the emirate of Fujairah. 

Adnoc is partnering with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Oman-based 44.01. 

The project, announced at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, is due to start this month and will use 44.01’s Earthshot prize-winning carbon capture and mineralisation (CCM) technology. 

A successful pilot would open the possibility of mineralising billions of tonnes of captured CO2 across the region, said Adnoc, which added that it will be the first CCM project by an energy company in the Middle East.

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

“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.”

Fujairah has been selected for this pilot due to its abundance of peridotite, a form of rock that naturally reacts with CO2 to mineralise it.

CO2 will be captured from the air, dissolved in seawater, and then injected into peridotite formations deep underground, where it will mineralise, ensuring that it cannot escape back into the atmosphere.

“Removing CO2 from the atmosphere is vital if we are to halt and ultimately reverse climate change,” Talal Hasan, founder and CEO of 44.01, said.

“Unlike CO2 storage, mineralisation removes CO2 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 CO2 internationally.”

The project will be powered by solar energy supplied by Masdar. 

Last month, 44.01 was named one of the winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize. It emerged from more than 1,000 applicants to be picked as one of the five winners of the environmental award, winning £1 million ($1.2 million) to scale its business.

44.01 – the name refers to the molecular mass of carbon dioxide – has already conducted successful pilots of its mineralisation process in Oman and plans to begin mineralising CO2 commercially this year. 

By 2040, the company aspires to have removed 1 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, he added.

Earlier this month Adnoc allocated $15 billion to decarbonise its operations by 2050. 

Projects will include investments in clean power, CCS, further electrification of its operations, energy efficiency and new measures to build on Adnoc’s long-standing policy of zero routine gas flaring.

The company has committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 25 percent by 2023 as it moves towards its goal of achieving net zero by 2050.