US industrial furnaces: breakdown by size, by industry, by fuel?

The purpose of this data-file is to aggregate all available EPA disclosures into the use of CO2-emitting fuels within the manufacturing sector.

We estimate there are 1,500 industrial furnaces in the US manufacturing sector, with a mean average capacity of 60MWth, c90% powered by natural gas, and thus explaining over 3.5-4 bcfd of total US gas demand (4-5% of total).

This is an unbelievably complex and granular landscape, but we have captured as much facility-by-facility data as possible, in the back-up tabs: company-by-company, facility-by-facility, fuel-by-fuel.

We also compare the manufacturing sector with broader industrial materials, where 3,000 furnaces, averaging 130MWth capacity likely explain over 12bcfd of industrial gas demand.

CO2 capture: a cost curve?

This data-file summarizes the costs of capturing CO2 from different sources, so that it can be converted into materials, electro-fuels or sequestered.

Specifically, we have estimated the full-cycle costs (in $/ton), ultimate potential (in MTpa) and other technical considerations, linking to our other models and data-files.

The lowest-cost options are to access pure CO2 streams that are simply being vented at present, such as from the ethanol or LNG industries, but the ultimate running-room from this opportunity set is <200MTpa.

Blue hydrogen, steel and cement place next on the cost curve and could each have GTpa scale. Power stations place next, at $60-100/ton.

DAC is conceptually attractive, as the only carbon negative technology, but if all CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are fungible, it is not clear why you would pursue DAC until options lower down the cost curve had been exhausted.

Cost and CO2 intensity of home cooking technologies?

This data-file aims to capture the energy consumption, efficiency and CO2 intensity of different heating technologies in home-cooking: gas, electric, induction, microwaves, steam-cookers and food-processors.

The most important determinant of cooking’s CO2 intensity is consumer behaviour. This is the clear conclusion from comparing different numbers in different technical papers, which are summarized in the data-file.

At today’s energy costs and grid mix, gas-fired cooking yields the lowest costs, with comparable CO2 intensity to electric heat. Sometimes the electrification of cooking will increase CO2 and sometimes it will decrease.

The most efficient and best functioning cooking technology is likely to be electric induction, but it is likely 2-3x more expensive than gas and electric  hobs on a full-cycle basis.

Industrial heating technologies: an overview?

This data-file summarizes different heating technologies, predominantly electric heating technologies, used to supply process heat within industry.

The file covers convection heating, infrared radiant heat, immersion coils, electric ovens and furnaces, industrial microwaves and di-electric heating, induction and electric-arc.

In each case, we summarize the technology, typical temperature ranges, efficiencies, exergy, advantages and disadvantages.

Generally process heat is 90% efficient at converting incoming energy to heat and c40% efficient in achieving useful exergetic output from the heat.  But the ranges very broadly from 10-90%, depending on the system.

Construction materials: a screen of costs and CO2 intensities?

This data-file compares different construction materials, calculating the costs, the embedded energy and the embedded CO2 of different construction materials per m2 of wall space.

The file captures both capex and opex: i.e., the production of the materials and the ongoing costs associated with heating and cooling, as different materials have different thermal conductivities.

Covered materials include conventional construction materials such as concrete, cement, steel, brick, wood and glass, plus novel wood-based materials such as cross-laminated timber. Insulated wood and CLT are shown to have the lowest CO2 intensities and can be extremely cost competitive.

The data-file also compares different insulation materials, including their costs, thermal conductivities (W/m.K) and the resultant energy economics of insulation projects.

US Refiners: CO2 cost curve?

Which refiners are least CO2 intensive, and which refiners are most CO2 intensive? This spreadsheet answers the question, by aggregating data from 130 US refineries, based on EPA regulatory disclosures.

The full database contains a granular breakdown, facility-by-facility, showing each refinery, its owner, its capacity, throughput, utilisation rate and CO2 emissions across six categories: combustion, refining, hydrogen, CoGen, methane emissions and NOx (chart below).

Assessed companies include Aramco, BP, Chevron, Citgo, Delek, ExxonMobil, Koch, Hollyfrontier, Marathon, Phillips66, PBF, Shell and Valero.

Blue carbon: how much degradation and CO2 emission?

83% of the global carbon cycle is circulated through the ocean. Hence the term ‘Blue Carbon’ was first coined a decade ago to describe the disproportionately large CO2 contribution of coastal ecosystems.

This data-file illustrates the outsized contribution of blue carbon ecosystems in the carbon cycle, quantifying the area of land that is still covered by mangroves, tidal marshes, sea grasses and peat bogs; its typical CO2 absorption and CO2 density; and its rate of degradation, which releases CO2.

The CO2 still being lost each yearfrom these water-based eco-sytsems  is enormous, on a par with emissions from the entire EU, or India, or the entire global cement industry. Blue carbon also has extra importance combatting sea level rises. Full details are in the data-file.

CO2 concentrations in industrial exhaust streams?

The aim of this data-file is to compile CO2 concentrations in industrial exhaust streams, as a molar percentage of flue gas. This matters for the costs of CO2 separation (e.g., the amine process).

Costs will generally be c10-15% lower to separate out CO2 in middling processes such as blast furnaces and cement plants, compared to lower concentration processes such as coal and combined cycle gas plants.

Costs of separating CO2 from ambient air will be an order of magnitude higher again (at least c4-6x, as costs rise linearly as concentrations fall by each order of magnitude).

Most promisingly, some CO2 is already purely concentrated (e.g., after pre-treating natural gas before LNG liquefaction; or after separating out industrial hydrogen from SMR in the refining, ammonia, chemicals and blue hydrogen industries). These be the most promising options for CCS.

A breakdown of US energy consumption per person per year

The aim of this data-file is to disaggregate US energy consumption and CO2 emissions per person per year, and by category.

We estimate the Average American consumes 36MWH of energy each year, emits 20 tons of CO2, spends $2,000 per year directly on energy (6% of their income) and $4,500 in total energy costs, including the energy embedded in goods and services (15% of income). This makes a low cost energy transition crucial.

Data in the file are fully split out by fuel, by CO2 content, by cost and across ten different categories: goods, services, food, driving, flying, freight, public transit, heating, cooling and residential appliances (chart above). They are also split out by income group to test whether CO2 taxes can avoid being regressive.

The numbers can be stress-tested for different energy input prices and CO2 prices. We estimate the entire world can be decarbonized for a CO2 cost below $75/ton, which would absorb an additional c5% of average annual income. Alarmingly, some policy proposals are incentivizing technologies with $300-700/ton abatement costs, equivalent to 20-45% of average incomes.

Gas Pipelines: how much energy, CO2 and methane leaks?

This file aggregates granular data for 40 major US gas pipelines which transport 45TCF of gas per annum across 185,000 miles; and for 3,200 compressors at 640 related compressor stations.

The average CO2 intensity of long-distance gas pipelines is calculated based on the data, in kg of CO2e per mcf per 1,000 miles of gas transit. 80% of the emissions are from compressor power requirements. 20% is from methane leaks, which are also quantified, per mcf per 1,000 miles of gas transit.

Different pipelines and pipeline operators are ranked, to identify companies with low CO2 intensity despite high throughputs.

Covered companies include Berkshire Hathaway, Dominion, Enbridge, Energy Transfer, Kinder Morgan, Loews, TransCanada, Williams plus smaller companies.