SICK is one of the world’s leading solutions providers for sensor-based applications in the industrial sector. Founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick, the company is headquartered in Waldkirch, Germany and ranks among the technological market leaders. With more than 50 subsidiaries and equity investments as well as numerous agencies, SICK maintains a presence around the globe. SICK has more than 11,000 employees worldwide and a group revenue of around EUR 2 billion (fiscal year 2021).
Company founder Dr. Erwin Sick actually developed a device for flue gas monitoring as early as 1956 – long before the environmental movement. The emission monitoring solution was intended to help protect our health and the environment from damage caused by emissions. His pioneering spirit in environmental measurement technology continues to shape our commitment to the environment and human well-being today.
Dr. Erwin Sick’s drive to take care of the environment has pushed SICK to be innovative in its technology and solutions in the oil and gas industry, and more specifically, a top provider for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) solutions.
Why is CCUS important?
The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere has increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial era. Unless we do something to reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, the world will experience the effects of climate change. Carbon capture, storage and utilization will be an essential part of the decarbonization process for mitigating climate change and could be a path to a low-carbon future. Carbon capture is a technology approach that can remove up to 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The captured carbon dioxide can be transported to a permanent storage (usually deep underground) or recycled for further use via conversion into other substances or products with higher economic value (i.e. synfuel, plastics, concrete) while retaining the carbon neutrality of the production processes. With the development of CCUS technologies, new challenges are also arising for sensor solutions. SICK already has solutions to support carbon capture and CO2 transport applications.
What are the challenges when it comes to CCUS?
CO2 reporting and accounting
Flow metering will become necessary for fiscal purposes, custody transfer and compliance with future regulatory measurements. For each step of the CCUS network, accurate flow measurement allows for complete and precise reporting and the possibility of billing the captured carbon dioxide collected from different sources, transported via pipelines and stored or reused.
Carbon capture processes require a high degree of efficiency to improve their economic and environmental attractiveness. The measurement of CO2 content after the capture process is essential for control and optimization purposes.
Regardless of the destination of the captured CO2 (storage or utilization), it is important to control the quality of the gas and possible impurities that can have a negative influence on the later steps of the CCUS network and ensure protection of the environment.