Aramco collaboration develops software solution for carbon capture and utilization

ArKaTAC³ looks for sources of carbon emissions as well as economics.

Aramco collaboration develops software solution for carbon capture and utilization

Scientists in Aramco’s Research and Development Center (R&DC) have created a computer-aided tool to potentially evaluate carbon capture and utilization from Aramco facilities based on technoeconomic and life cycle analysis. 


The new software solution — known as the Aramco-KAIST Tool for CO2 Capture and Conversion, or ArKaTAC3 — was developed by R&DC carbon management scientists in collaboration with the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center at the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST). 


Editor’s note
This story is part of an ongoing series on Aramco technologies that are being commercialized by Aramco’s licensing arm, Saudi Aramco Technologies Company.


Regional and global impact

To assess the technology, the R&DC team obtained field data collected by Ras Tanura Refinery, and have since modified ArKaTAC3 to work in other industrial settings including upstream and downstream, petrochemicals, power systems, cement plants, and even iron and steel plants. 


ArKaTAC3 has recently been licensed to Aspen Technology by Aramco’s licensing arm, Saudi Aramco Technologies Company (SATC), with the goal of providing services to industrial facilities in the region and globally. 


This is one of our corporate initiatives to develop potential technology solutions to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
— Ali Hunaidy, technical lead for the ArKaTAC3 technology


“Our solution not only looks for the sources of carbon emissions, but also at economics. It is looking at profit maximizing — how to enhance utilization of the captured carbon — as well as CO2 reduction and environmental impact,” Hunaidy added. 


Aramco researchers have considered carbon capture and utilization (CCU) as a concept for capturing CO2 from industrial sources and utilizing it in making new products. While technology solutions exist to identify emission sources, capture the carbon, and sequester it, ArKaTAC3 was designed as a user-friendly software tool that can examine available technology and assess options in terms of carbon emission reduction and cost effectiveness. 


Store or utilize?

“We started this by looking into a software system that could tell us what is the key point source in a refinery or an industrial setting for emissions, and to find ways to reduce those emissions,” said Aqil Jamal, chief technologist for Carbon Management. 


Once you have captured the carbon, the question becomes what do you do with it: do you store it or utilize it?”
— Aqil Jamal


With ArKaTAC3, the R&DC team took this question one step further, considering the best opportunities to turn captured carbon into something useful and valuable such as methanol, ethanol, acetic acid, and other useful hydrocarbon cuts. 


Hasan Imran, project leader for ArKaTAC3, said that while designing the tool, the teamkept in mind that ArKaTAC3 should achieve both superstructure-based process synthesis and technoeconomic analysis, and life cycle assessment of the carbon capture and utilization systems. 


“This tool can potentially help businesses when building carbon management strategies,” he said.


ArKaTAC3 examines a number of various parameters, including utilization and separation processes, mass and energy balance, economic factors, and the life-cycle of components and inventory. With this information, ArKaTAC3 could help refineries, gas plants, power plants, cement plants, and other industrial facilities to run case studies and identify more optimal CO2 reduction strategies before considerable investment is made. This could help save companies cost and time.


“AspenTech is a global leader in industrial software. We look forward to successful commercialization of ArKaTAC3,” said Raed H. Abudawoud, CEO (A) of SATC.


For more info
For more information about this technology, please reach out to Subashini Asokan, Head of Licensing, Saudi Aramco Technologies Company at


Caption for top photo: Pictured from left are: Aqil Jamal (chief technologist, Carbon Management); Hasan Imran (project lead); Ammar Al Ahmed (CCUS team lead); and Ali Al Hunaidy (technical lead). (Photo: Hasan M. Almubarak/MPD)


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