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Decarbonization of industry: CCUS and hydrogen technologies

By BCC Publishing Staff

If nations are to uphold their commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, industrial operations need to be decarbonized.

Two recent BCC Research reports provide a look into the markets of two emerging decarbonization strategies: carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen fuel.

CCUS technologies

The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology market had a value of $2.0 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.0% to reach nearly $5.2 billion by 2026.

CCUS involves implementing the following processes in an integrated manner.

  • Separation of CO2 from mixtures of gases (e.g., from flue gases).
  • Compression of this CO2 to a liquid state.
  • Transportation of the CO2 to a storage site or conversion facility.
  • Injection of the CO2 into a geologic formation or conversion of the CO2 into marketable products.


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There are three major carbon capture systems. In each case, specific capture technologies such as absorption, adsorption, or membranes are used for separating CO2 from the gas mixture.

  • Pre-combustion capture, also known as syngas/hydrogen capture, removes or separates the carbon in fuel before the combustion process.
  • Post-combustion capture separates CO2 from flue gas resulting from the air combustion of fuels at the end of the production process.
  • Oxy-fuel combustion involves substituting pure oxygen for the combustion air so that a CO2-rich flue gas is produced, which requires minimum processing before use or permanent storage.

A decade ago, CCUS projects were vertically integrated, with a capture plant having its own downstream transport and storage system. Now, there is a trend among CCUS projects to share transport and storage infrastructure.

Hydrogen fuel

Global investments in building the hydrogen economy totaled nearly $19.4 billion in 2021 and are anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% to reach $38.5 billion by 2027.

Currently, hydrogen is used mostly in chemical production and oil refining. In the future, hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in various sectors, including transportation (powering vehicles), residential (heating homes), and industry (firing processes).

There have been significant advancements in hydrogen production, storage, and distribution technologies in recent years.

Regarding production, there is development of new electrolysis technologies.

  • Alkaline electrolysis: A relatively simple and low-cost method that uses an alkaline solution as the electrolyte.
  • Proton exchange membrane electrolysis: A method that uses a proton-conducting membrane to separate the hydrogen and oxygen produced during electrolysis.
  • High-temperature electrolysis: A method that uses heat, in addition to electricity, to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Regarding storage, the following areas witnessed notable advancements.

  • Metal hydrides: These materials can absorb and release hydrogen in a controlled manner.
  • Carbon nanotubes: These tiny tubes can store hydrogen at high densities.
  • High-pressure tanks: Advances have been made in the design and manufacture of high-pressure hydrogen tanks, which allows these tanks to store larger amounts of hydrogen in a smaller volume.

Regarding distribution, the following advancements were made.

  • Hydrogen fueling stations: There are different types of fueling stations, such as those that produce hydrogen on-site through electrolysis and those that receive hydrogen via truck or pipeline.
  • Hydrogen transport: Developments occurred in the use of special containers that can transport liquid hydrogen by truck or ship; however, hydrogen transport via pipelines still faces challenges.

About the author
BCC Publishing Staff provides comprehensive analyses of global market sizing, forecasting, and industry intelligence, covering markets where advances in science and technology are improving the quality, standard, and sustainability of businesses, economies, and lives. Contact the Staff at


BCC Publishing Staff, “Carbon capture, utilization & storage technologies” BCC Research Report EGY037F, April 2022.

BCC Publishing Staff, “Global hydrogen economy: Merchant hydrogen and hydrogen purification technologies” BCC Research Report EGY055F, April 2023.

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MAY 2023 • VOL. 102, NO. 4