It seems crazy to claim to be able to make petroleum products starting with CO2, is this really possible to do?
As people with a long background in the energy industry, we think we have an audacious plan, but not crazy at all, otherwise we wouldn't be building our business on the concept. We feel the world is ready for our vision, due to a combination of innovation we are bringing to the Business Model for CRH fuels married to the Technology Model. Hand-in-hand, these two aspects of innovation are what have created a viable space for the age of CRH Energy to commence. In terms of technology, we believe that the major aspects of Chemical Science are already in place to enable CRH. Our role, therefore, is not to develop new science, but to be the catalyst and integrator for generating new technology solutions in partnership with the firms around the world that possess the technology elements that we need to make CRH possible.
Are producers of Fossil Energy and Biofuels our competitors ?
Not at all, we see them as as our allies, partners and collaborators, since we share the same mission -- to provide the fuels to power and move a dynamic world, while at the same time taking the best care we can of the environment. Hence, a central theme in our activities at CRH Corp. is to work collaboratively with producers of Fossil Energy and Biofuels around the world so that we can capitalize on the tremendous synergies between all three classes of hydrocarbons, now including CRH.
Don't low natural gas prices make it hard for CRH energy products to compete?
Not at all, and for a variety of reasons. One key reason is the nature of markets that natural gas (natgas as it is called in the business) targets are different markets than CRH fuels. Natgas is heavily used in power generation and as a fuel and raw material for industrial operations like petrochemical production, but has very little penetration as a transport fuel due to the difficulty of storage and transport. Today's generation of CRH fuels on the other hand are targeted squarely at the transport sector, which is served by products from refining crude oil.
How do CRH fuels compare to Shale Gas as far as impact on the planet?
Looking at today's energy picture, natural gas (including Shale Gas), generates much less CO2 compared to coal in key uses such as electricity generation, which is a good thing, but is relevant mostly to the the past and current situation in terms of CO2 emissions. The challenge for the future is that the world was on track to embrace renewable energy, until the advent of cheap and abundant shale gas. The challenge presented by low cost shale gas is that it will have the result of impeding the growth of renewable energy, meaning that CO2 emissions will increase dramatically as compared to the use of renewable energy (as discussed in this article) . At CRH Corp. we offer the unique solution to this challenge, which is to capture and utilize CO2 for regenerating into CRH fuels, while utilizing renewable energy as an input to doing so.
What is the difference between CCS and CCU/CCR, and how do they relate to CRH Corp.'s business?
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the process of using chemical technology to extract CO2 from the combustion gases of fossil fuels (like coal) from activities such a electric power generation. The extracted CO2 is then pumped underground and stored. The goal of CCS is to avoid emitting CO2 to the atmosphere, since CO2 is implicated in global warming and climate change. CCU/CCR stands for Carbon Capture and Utilization/Regeneration. CCU is very synergistic with CCS, since instead of storing the CO2 underground with no further use, the CO2 is utilized instead to produce liquid fuels in conjunction with renewable energy input, thus adding new value to the CO2 that would otherwise not have occurred.
What are the products that CRH Corp. makes?
The processes and technologies used by CRH Corp. can in principle be used to produce any hydrocarbon molecule. However, the CRH Business Model at the present time has been carefully constructed to ensure the greatest economic incentive possible, in order to successfully attract best-in-class technology partners and ample access to funding and finance. Hence, the current slate of CRH fuel products are targeted at the lucrative transport fuels markets, namely, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. We will also serve high value petrochemical markets with feedstocks such as liquid naphtha and light olefins.
What is the meaning of WHySGO, and how does it relate to CRH?
WHySGO (pronounced WIZ-go) is an acronym coined by CRH Corp. to describe the five “Forces of Nature” (FoN) that we harness for energy input to CRH processes, namely Wind, Hydro, Solar, Geothermal, Ocean. The trick we employ at CRH is to combine WHySGO with CO2 to create an inexhaustible supply of liquid fuels that today are produced from depleting and increasingly expensive crude oil. Partnering with CRH Corp. to tap WHySGO energy represents a historic and unprecedented opportunity for renewable energy producers, who may otherwise have a “stranded resource”, that we can help them monetize by turning it into CRH fuels, and thus create a huge increase in the effective penetration of renewable energy into the world primary energy mix.
Is WHySGO the only kind of energy input possible for CRH fuel production?
Not at all, we can use a broad range of energy inputs in addition to WHySGO. Some examples are nuclear energy, off-peak electric power and underutilized energy streams in process operations like oil refineries and power plants. Nuclear energy has suffered a setback in recent years due to the Japan Fukushima incident, but under the right circumstances still presents opportunity for the future. The use of off-peak electric power for CRH fuel production creates an opportunity for power generators to diversify their business beyond just the generation of electricity, getting a piece of the lucrative liquid fuels market. These opportunities speak to the versatility of our vision at CRH Corp.
In which parts of the world can CRH products be produced?
The beauty of CRH fuels is that they can be produced anywhere in the world where WHySGO energy is available (which is everywhere !) or off-peak electrical energy is available at favorable prices. This is in contrast to the fossil energy or biofuels industries, which are dependent on geography, for example, Middle East oil, or Brazilian bioethanol. CRH fuel production therefore represents economic opportunity all over the world and enables broad participation even in countries that today might be considered “energy poor”.
Where will CRH Corp. get the CO2 raw material it needs, if the world loses its conviction to deal with the CO2 question?
Part of the appeal and versatility of the CRH vision relates to our ability to use either Captured Carbon (from CCS projects) or Atmospheric Carbon (from the air). Atmospheric CO2 is available forever. Captured CO2 does depend on the conviction to continue with CCS projects, however, a broad range of factors (including potential emissions targets for India and China) suggest that there will be no shortage of Captured CO2 available for CRH fuel production around the world. Furthermore, once billions of tons of CO2 are stored underground, we plan to utilize that stored CO2 as a resource to feed CRH fuel production well into the future.
Is CRH good for the environment, and how so?
At the risk of being biased, we think CRH is amazingly good for the environment (which is why a whole section of this website is dedicated to showcasing our contribution to sustainable energy development). We help reduce CO2 concentrations in the air (which helps on climate change). We then turn that CO2 into liquid fuels (which are in high demand and short supply for a fast-moving world). By making liquid fuels we help reduce the pressure on oil companies to find ever greater quantities of crude oil, a concept which we call fossil energy Reductiion-at-Source. We help bring emerging nations into the picture for CO2 emissions control by providing an incentive for them to put CO2 to good use. We harness WHySGO renewable energy, which will never run out as long as planet earth circles the sun. Hence, all said, the world may one day run out of crude oil, but it will never run out of CRH fuel !
What happens to the economics of CRH if the price of crude oil drops?
We look at the modus operandi of oil producers, and see them investing trillions of dollars in three kinds of new oil production:
- Ultra deep water
- Oil sands and bitumen
- Shale oil
What do these three have in common ? They are expensive oil to produce. We like to say at CRH Corp., the oil age is far from over, but the cheap oil age is over. When the oil companies invest with such conviction in new sources of oil that is expensive to produce, at CRH Corp. we sleep easy at night, because we believe that the oil companies are way smarter than us about knowing where the price of oil will go in the future. Accordingly, our economic analysis makes it clear to us that the crude oil price expectation that underpins the massive current oil industry investment patterns in “Frontier and Non-Conventional oil”, also provides us at CRH Corp. the necessary basis to complement the future supply of liquid fuels with CRH fuel (Green Fuel) products. Furthermore, as we do not have to invest in the oil refining step to turn crude oil into liquid fuels, so we avoid a major cost element in the economic chain that today generates the world's supply of liquid fuels.
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