Making Hydrocarbon Recovery Easier: Carbon Clean

Hydrocarbon recovery has been utilized by oil companies for several years, but its cost has long served as a barrier for entry for many smaller companies. Not anymore. Carbon Clean wants to tap into the immense potential of carbon capture technology, and we've already begun doing so. 


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What is Hydrocarbon Recovery?

The hydorcarbon recovery process involves injecting cooled or liquified carbon dioxide into underground wells to assist in extracting oil and natural gas. It serves a dual purpose, in that it assists companies to extract more fossil fuels than previously was possible, and it provides a safer, more eco-friendly disposal method for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.


As we mentioned, hydrocarbon recovery isn't exactly new. However, our technology is changing the process by making it easier for companies who previously couldn't afford it. Hydrocarbon recovery is expensive - and thus not feasible for many smaller companies - due, in large part, to the high costs of carbon capture


The materials used for carbon capture are expensive: the chemical used to separate CO2 from the rest of the flue gas emissions is corrosive and thus expensive because of the materials needed to handle it; the energy costs to re-heat and recover the CO2 after it has been separated are high.


Our innovative technology solves that problem - and in doing so, reduces the cost of entry into hydrocarbon recovery. Our proprietary chemical is less corrosive, requires less energy, and does not sacrifice efficiency. Together, these factors help decrease the cost of carbon capture and help you monetize carbon dioxide that would otherwise go to waste.


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Hydrocarbon Recovery: The Specifics

Hydrocarbon recovery utilizes carbon dioxide not designated for permanent storage and uses it to recover hard-to-reach fossil fuels (like getting every last drop of coffee from the pot, except with oil and natural gas).


There are three main functions within hydrocarbon recovery: Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR) and Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery (ECBM). In each of these three, captured CO2 is injected into underground oil formations to help oil flow freely and to drive out extra (secondary) methane.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

There are three phases to conventional oil production: primary, secondary, and tertiary. In the primary phase, natural pressure within the oil drives it towards the production wells and, with the help of pumps or other mechanisms, to the surface. This phase is limited, however, to hydrocarbons that naturally rise to the surface.


In the secondary phase, water is injected into an oil reservoir to increase pressure and drive oil toward production wells. According to the US Department of Energy, utilizing these two methods of production can leave up to 75 percent of the oil in the well.


Enhanced oil recovery allows for extraction of that remaining 75 percent, and our proprietary chemical makes it financially feasible for companies to pursue EOR. Carbon Clean is pioneering the way companies use CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.


Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR)

Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR) involves injecting CO2 into the base of a depleted gas reservoir, which causes natural gas (lighter than liquid carbon dioxide) to float on top and move toward production wells.


Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery (ECBM)

Coal beds are well-known reservoirs for gases and oil, mostly because of fractures and micropores in their surface - allowing for absorption of natural gas. When CO2 is pumped into a coal seam, it displaces remaining methane at absorption sites. This has the dual purpose of enabling methane recovery and storing the injected CO2. This technique may be used in conjunction with carbon capture and storage in mitigation of global warming where the carbon dioxide that is sequestered is captured from the output of fossil fuel power plants.