Aramco unveils mobile carbon capture system for trucks that could significantly reduce CO2 emissions at the tailpipe

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Aramco recently unveiled a mobile carbon capture system for trucks that dramatically reduces CO2 emissions at the tailpipe. Aramco showcased a Volvo VNL400 class 8 truck at the SAE Innovations in Mobility conference in Detroit that employs several technologies to reduce carbon emissions to an estimated 50% of the baseline vehicle.

Volvo offers both a liftable axle and engine turbocompounding to raise the efficiency of the truck and these both appear on the demonstrator. In addition, Aramco has outfitted the vehicle with single-wide, low rolling resistance tires, as well as a low friction engine lubricant, and plans to convert the engine to run on a lower carbon content gasoline in the future.

The largest reduction comes from the mobile carbon capture system that was integrated into the truck. The system has demonstrated a CO2 capture rate of over 40% in the laboratory, and it will soon undergo road tests as part of Aramco’s efforts to develop technologies that improve the sustainability of transportation.

The capture system that sits behind the truck’s cab consists of several components that pull CO2 from exhaust gas using a selective absorbent material. The sorbent regenerates by harvesting available energy from the coolant and exhaust systems to produce a pure stream of CO2. This is stored in on-board tanks that are sized to be easily unloaded during refuelling stops.

Once off-loaded, the CO2 could be put into dedicated pipelines for use in industry as a feedstock for low life cycle carbon materials or for sequestration underground. In addition to heavy-duty road vehicles, the system could potentially be adapted for use in locomotives and marine vessels.

Aramco’s previous mobile carbon capture research has included demonstration systems on a Ford F250 and Toyota Camry.

Esam Hamad, leader of the mobile carbon capture programme, said: “This system offers a compelling option to reduce carbon emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. It is a potentially game changing technology that offers the potential for deep decarbonization of the transport sector.”

Alex Voice, lead chemical engineer on the project, added: “Our capture rates have improved significantly just in the past few months. We are excited to continue our activities to extend these improvements, demonstrate the benefits on-the-road, and reduce the system size and cost, while increasing efficiency.”

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