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Energy Efficiency

An Industrial Age Company Delivers 21st Century Climate Solutions

Angela Loria

Any company that once sold a product to Thomas Edison can’t exactly lay claim to being part of the younger generation of American businesses. But it can deliver innovative, 21st-century technologies designed to transform the battle against a changing climate, which is what Babcock & Wilcox has in mind with its new ClimateBright product line.

ClimateBright, unveiled in May, is a suite of decarbonization technologies designed to help utilities and industrial clients combat greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and a changing climate by capturing carbon dioxide and producing hydrogen. The technologies can be used in a variety of industries, ranging from energy production and food manufacturing to steel, cement, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and pulp and paper.

Photo Courtesy Science in HD

Babcock & Wilcox officials aren’t shy about trumpeting the potential impact of ClimateBright. “Our ClimateBright technologies can change the world,” Chairman and CEO Kenneth Young said in a press release announcing the new suite.

One way it can do that is by helping customers meet the United Nations sustainability goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050–something Young said his company is uniquely qualified to do.

Photo Courtesy Mathias P.R. Reding

“Through advanced research and development, combined with joint efforts with the U.S. Department of Energy and various universities, Babcock & Wilcox has unparalleled experience in clean energy solutions–backed by more than 90 active patents for carbon capture alone–and has the expertise and technology to lead the world’s next industrial revolution toward a zero-carbon future,” he said.

“We are currently working with many clients to determine the best carbon capture solution based on their specific needs.”

The ClimateBright suite includes four different technologies: BrightLoop SolveBright, OxyBright, and BrightGen. Each offers different solutions:

  • BrightLoopis a chemical looping technology that can produce hydrogen, steam or synthetic gas from a variety of fuels or feedstocks while isolating CO2 for capture or other industrial purposes.
  • SolveBright is a regenerable solvent technology for carbon capture processes that are designed to be flexible with a variety of solvents or optimized to a specific solvent, depending on customers’ needs.
  • OxyBright is a combustion process that uses oxygen instead of air in CO2 isolation and sequestration applications.
  • BrightGenis a hydrogen combustion technology designed for utility and industrial applications where the goal is generating efficient, zero-carbon dioxide energy emissions.

ClimateBright expands Babcock & Wilcox’s existing suite of sustainable products, which includes waste-to-energy technologies such as DynaGrate. DynaGrate is used to combat landfill methane–a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more powerful than CO2–while simultaneously generating clean, sustainable energy. Babcock & Wilcox’s suite of WTE technologies is installed in hundreds of plants around the world, with a combined capacity of more than 48 million tons of waste annually.

“Combating a changing climate through the reduction of carbon and methane emissions is perhaps the greatest challenge of our time and Babcock & Wilcox is well-prepared for that challenge,” Young said.

His company has a long history of helping industrial clients solve problems.

Babcock & Wilcox got its start in 1867 in Providence, Rhode Island, with one patent for a water boiler that was designed to operate more safely and efficiently than competing products. Eleven years later, Thomas Edison purchased Babcock & Wilcox boiler No. 92 for his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Today the company is based in Akron, Ohio, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BW.” It logged revenues of $566 million in 2020 and is on track to produce a similar number this year. Although B&W continues to operate at a loss, those losses have narrowed considerably in recent years, and the company is moving closer to profitability.

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