engineering, hybrid modeling, energy, EPC, digital twins

Watch Your Footprint!

Manage CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

November 05, 2021


Global warming, can we pause it? 

The increase in the Earth’s temperature and its effects have already been clearly measured – from changes to ocean temperature and acidification, to global ice sheet coverage. The global surface temperature will continue to increase unless there are deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. It would take a concentrated effort to revert to pre-industrial levels. 

At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015, climate experts reached an agreement to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2050 to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2°C. The climate change and actions are being discussed again at the 26th annual Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) currently happening in Glasgow, Scotland. What will be the outcome of this meeting? Will the guidelines get more stringent this time around?


Think about your sustainability story 

There is a clear need for businesses to reduce energy and water efficiencies and shift to alternate processes to meet the ever-changing emission mitigation targets. Most energy and chemical companies are already investing in alternate processes to reduce their energy needs but struggling to remain profitable while meeting their emission goals. 

AspenTech’s solutions for resource efficiency, energy transition and circular economy can help you reach your near-term goals for meeting emission targets, optimizing energy, feedstock and water usage, and the long-term goal of eliminating waste and emissions while sustaining profitability.  


If you can’t measure, you can’t mitigate 

It is important to understand that emission mitigation forms the core of every sustainability story. There are multiple routes to reduce emissions. However, before selecting one, it is necessary to locate the source of emissions and effectively track them. 


It is important to understand that emission mitigation forms the core of every sustainability story.


A fundamental challenge most companies face is not having enough sensors and sampling points in their assets to fully characterize the scope and details of their emissions.

For decades, companies have been using default emission factors or installing analyzers to calculate emissions in their processes. 

The use of factors is an approximation and that can lead to inaccurate values for fuels other than homogeneous fuels, such as natural gas. This factor-based emissions calculation is also manual, time-consuming and does not provide the complete view of your plant emissions. Other methods by means of the staggered analyzers make it difficult to find the culprit and take the required action in a timely manner. There is a need for improved monitoring of real-time plant emissions at a higher level of detail, to enable proactive management of production to achieve sustainability targets.


Measure in real time with digital twins 

Digital twin models present the opportunity to overcome many of these challenges.  Models can be developed to provide a detailed picture of emissions associated with the process (process simulation digital twins), utilities (utility online models), product losses (hydrocarbon accounting), and raw material optionality (planning models). 

Our digital twin solution for real-time emission monitoring has helped companies improve monitoring transparency across organizations and maintaining compliance under ever-changing emission rules. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), an Indian oil refining company has developed an award-winning digital twin emission model using our solutions for their Kochi refinery to choose an optimum fuel mix that can reduce emissions while balancing profitability. 

Our strategic Independent Service Provider (ISP) partner, Equinox Software Services has enhanced BPCL’s real-time emission management system at one of their sites by providing source and type-based visualization for creating an emission benchmark. Equinox is further strengthening BPCL’s emission management system by integrating it with satellite monitoring of flare stacks and other emissions. 


Visualize the impact of variabilities and accelerate your sustainability journey 

Multiple digital twins can be deployed to aggregate the data from various processes to manage plant-wide key performance indicators (KPIs). 

The question is, what can you do with all this data and KPI information? 

The answer? Build customized KPI dashboards to provide the operators, engineers and management with an easy access to plant performance data. This data provides insight into the energy and utility systems at the equipment level, sitewide or even across multiple sites. Digital dashboards provide enhanced visibility of sustainability metrics to understand past and current trends, as well as how the plant adaptations are helping to reduce emissions and reach sustainability goals.

Equinox helped ADNOC, a Middle Eastern upstream company, to develop multiple sustainability dashboards deploying AspenTech’s digital twin solutions, which enhanced the gas fields’ sitewide visibility of water consumption, steam consumption and key equipment performance. This has provided ADNOC with role-based insights and helped streamline their decision-making from wellhead operators to executive level. 

In our on-demand webinar, Track Emissions, Manage Compliance Sitewide with Digital Twins, Equinox takes a deep dive into their deployment of AspenTech’s digital twin solution allowing leading, global companies to operate models online, gaining real-time insights and building numerous dashboards for advance visibility. This boosts decision-making capabilities across the organization while ensuring regulatory and sustainability target compliance. 


To learn more about how digital twins form the core of an emissions monitoring system and other sustainability solutions, visit our sustainability page.

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