Viewpoints March 14, 2023
Imagine that – developing energy, climate solutions with science and technology
Viewpoints March 14, 2023
An even larger number – as many as 2.4 billion people – lack clean, modern fuels and appliances for cooking and heating. Think about that. Several billion 💞people using charcoal, animal dung, or crop waste to prepare food or heat their households. Of these, 3 million people die each year from indoor air pollution – deaths that are entirely avoidable.The daily challenge my company works to address is to provide the energy and products that are critical for modern living, while finding ways to get energy to those who lack it so they can have the quality of life that many others enjoy.
But there’s an added challenge: Doing all this and reducing greenhouse gas emissions⛦. Making this added challenge even more difficult is that currently available technologies are inadequate to meet the world’s energy needs while simultaneously moving toward a lower-emissions future. According to the International Energy Agency, needed to build such a future are currently on track.So no doubt, our work is cut out for us: deliver energy today, while figuring how to reduce emissions for tomorrow. It’s a heavy challenge, but not a daunting one. Like much of the work highlighted at the Imagine Solutions conference, it actually inspires and excites me. In my 35 years at ExxonMobil, I’ve seen science, innovation, and engineering combine to spawn solutions I couldn’t have dreamed when I started in 1987.
Today, I actually can imagine big solutions to our biggest challenges.
I’m confident we’re going to find them. We’re working on technologies – carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and biofuels𝔍, for example – that can help us reduce our own emissions and help others reduce theirs.🐽 And while we expect to play an important role, we also know we can’t go it alone. That’s why we’re collaborating with others on ways to bring our size, scale, and geographical advantages to bear in the service of finding solutions. We’re working with universities, national labs, start-ups, and other large companies looking to scale. And we recognize to make real progress a new approach will be required. Historically, large collaborative efforts have been done methodically, sequentially, essentially in series. Truth is, though, we need to move faster than that. We need to work in parallel. Companies that understand scale need to work with universities to shape the research. Universities need to challenge and develop understanding of the principles that will underpin the technologies. And start-ups need to have supportive policies and markets to advance first deployments. One more prerequisite: Companies (like ExxonMobil) that understand scale need to be fully integrated in the various aspects of this multi-stage process, whether advancing research, developing markets, or informing policy. We offer real-world project and operating expertise, science and engineering know-how that complements what governments, research institutions, NGOs, and others bring to the table. I’ve learned over my long career to never underestimate the power of science and innovation. In our own lifetimes, we have all been amazed by the transformations created through innovations in medicine, communications, and our ever-evolving digital world. It’s been the same story in energy over many decades. After a day filled with stories of how these pioneers in their fields are achieving breakthroughs that were once thought impossible, I walked away from the conference knowing that when we work together, we can do so much more than imagine solutions. We can deliver them.
Landmark emissions-reduction project in Louisiana announced; CF Industries, ExxonMobil, EnLink Midstream to collaborateIRVING, Texas – CF Industries, a leading global manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, has entered into the largest-of-its-kind commercial agreement with ExxonMobil to capture and permanently store up to 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually from its manufacturing complex in Louisiana. Start-up for the project is scheduled for early 2025 and supports Louisiana’s objective of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
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From plastic waste to valuable - goods going circular with ExxtendTMExxonMobil recently made its first shipment of certified circular plastic from Baytown, Texas, where in 2021 we processed almost 4 million pounds of plastic waste that would’ve otherwise likely ended up in a landfill. That’s the equivalent of recycling 360 million grocery bags.
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