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Reducing carbon dioxide emissions BASF and Japanese JGC Cooperate


10/05/05, Cooperation for more efficient removal and storage of natural gas carbon dioxide

BASF and JGC Corporation, Japan, are jointly developing a new technology for removing and storing the carbon dioxide (CO2) contained in natural gas. The cooperation aims to develop a process that will shave some 20 percent off the cost of traditional methods. Set up for an expected term of eight years, the joint effort of the two companies is being sponsored by the METI, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The process is of interest with a view to the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to achieve a long-term reduction of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. JGC counts among the most prestigious global plant engineering companies.

Underground storage of carbon dioxide to save energy

Natural gas, an increasingly important source of energy, more often than not contains CO2 when it is extracted, most of which is usually removed directly at the natural-gas source. This is achieved by means of a solvent which temporarily absorbs the CO2 from the high-pressure natural gas stream. Then the solvent is regenerated at low pressure, and fed back to the process. The CO2 released in the regeneration process has traditionally been emitted to the environment. This causes several million tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere each year.

This effect is eliminated if the CO2, once removed from the natural gas, is injected back underground for storage. To do that, however, the CO2 must first be compressed above the CO2 supercritical pressure. This has to date required high energy input, which the new process can reduce significantly: There are plans to use a solvent that will not be affected by high pressure levels and the associated elevated temperatures during regeneration, remaining stable and intact in the process. The new solvent regeneration process can then be operated at a higher pressure. This reduces the cost of compressing the CO2 for underground re-injection.

The cooperation of the two partners therefore focuses on developing a suitable solvent, along with the tailor-made process for using it. The project includes plans to build a test plant at JGC in Japan in order to facilitate near-realistic testing and optimization of the process.

BASF committed to an EU-sponsored research project

BASF is also committed to reducing CO2 emissions from power plant flue gas. Since early 2004 the company has been participating in a European Union-sponsored research project for thorough research into the removal and collection of CO2 gases, the greenhouse gases emitted from incineration processes. This project, too, was prompted by the Kyoto Protocol. Unlike natural and synthetic gases, those from incineration occur at far lower pressures. For that reason it is important to find process options that might be an alternative to the traditional power plant emission scrubbing processes. From the start of the project, BASF has been involved in the selection of the most suitable scrubbing agents, and in the tests to identify those candidates offering the best profile for implementation.

BASF: Global success in gas scrubbing

As a leading supplier in this business, too, BASF has gathered extensive experience in gas scrubbing. BASF’s Operating Division Intermediates sells aMDEA®, short for activated methyldiethanolamine technology, for the removal of acid gases such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This BASF process, which is known as amine scrubbing, has been used for years around the world by more than 220 gas scrubbers, particularly in natural gas, ammonia and oxo synthesis plants. Besides BASF’s capability to provide on-the-spot customer service, its customers value the efficiency, environmental capability and flexibility of the process. Its energy and investment requirements are low, yet it prevents corrosion, provides the utmost gas purification as well as high gas yields with little loss of solvents.


The Operating Division Intermediates of the BASF Group develops, produces and markets the world’s largest range of intermediates. The most important of the division’s more than 600 products include amines, diols, polyalcohols and acids. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. The operating division has access to plants at 15 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 2004, this BASF operating division with 2,850 employees generated world sales of €2 billion (2003: €1.8 billion). For more information, go to

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s intelligent solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2004, BASF had approximately 82,000 employees and posted sales of more than €37 billion. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF), Paris (BA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


Since the company’s establishment in 1928, JGC engineering has left its mark on numerous projects in the field of hydrocarbons the world over. The company’s highly advanced engineering technologies and excellent project management have led repeatedly to the successful completion of these large-scale projects. In short, as a leading global engineering company, JGC has the accumulated experience gained from over 20,000 projects performed in approximately 70 countries. Especially in LNG field, the number of LNG trains awarded to JGC and its joint ventures total 26, with a total production volume of approximately 66 million ton annually. JGC offers a wide range of engineering technologies. The company possesses original process technologies and constituent technologies, the result of highly capable and well directed research and development on envisioned technologies. The R&D combined with JGC’s inclination toward flexible systemization has significantly extended the company’s business horizons. Further information on JGC is available on the Internet at


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