Marybeth McBain with Elliott Group

Industrial Talk is onsite at PowerGen and talking to Marybeth McBain, Product Line Manager – Compressors with Elliott Group about “Carbon capture and hydrogen solutions for Power Generation”.  Here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Carbon capture technology at Power Gen conference. 0:04
    • Scott Mackenzie welcomes listeners to Industrial Talk and discusses the importance of problem-solving in the generation industry.
  • Carbon capture and hydrogen energy. 1:31
    • Marybeth, an oil and gas industry veteran of 22 years, discusses her technical sales role for customized compressors and experience in pipeline and LNG operations.
    • Marybeth discusses carbon capture and hydrogen, mentioning issues with capturing carbon from flue gas and potential industrial applications.
  • Hydrogen energy, fuel cells, and infrastructure challenges. 4:37
    • Marybeth discusses hydrogen as an energy storage option, mentioning its intermittency and the need for more economically viable production methods.
    • Marybeth discusses the challenges of transitioning to hydrogen fuel cells, including the need for infrastructure development and the limited availability of specialized metals like nickel.
    • Marybeth highlights the issue of grid capacity constraints in the US, which could hinder the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell technology.
  • Hydrogen energy sources and infrastructure. 8:47
    • ERCOT's grid independence is both a strength and a weakness in addressing electrical vehicle demand.
    • Marybeth explains the different colors of hydrogen, including green, pink, and blue, and their production methods.
  • Carbon capture, hydrogen solutions, and industry collaboration. 11:56
    • Marybeth McBain of The Elliott Group discusses carbon capture and hydrogen solutions, emphasizing the importance of capturing co2 and turning it into solid carbon or sequestering it underground.
    • Listeners can reach out to Marybeth on LinkedIn for more information and collaboration.

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hydrogen, power, carbon, conversation, marybeth, carbon capture, talk, sequestering, industrial, co2, compressors, run, companies, world, industry professionals, natural gas, lng, podcast, good, oil


Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go


Alright, once again, welcome to Industrial Talk. Thank you very much for joining D number one industrial related podcast in the universe that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, you are brave. You dare greatly you collaborate, you solve problems. That's why we celebrate you on this platform. And we are broadcasting on site power Gen is the event PowerGen 24. New Orleans, Louisiana is the location. And yes, it's great for food but better yet. It is a collection of problem solvers in the generation space in the generation industry. And it is fun. And Eric, there's a lot of great conversations happening here at power Gen in a hot seat. We have Mary Beth Mary Beth McBain, she's a senior sales engineer at Elliott group. And we're going to be talking about Well, well, co2 capture things to dig into, right? Yeah, exactly. There it is, man. That's what I want to talk about. Because that's, that's what's on everybody's conversation. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to capture that carbon. That's right. But you haven't a good conference? Yeah,


excellent. There's a lot of people here and everyone talks talking about co2 and hydrogen. So that's a good thing. It is specially for power. Gen. I didn't know that. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I really feel like that's a big answer to decarbonizing global emissions. Because, you know, we can't get there with electric vehicles. I mean, so much of the world's emissions are related to power Gen. Yeah.


And see what's interesting is the fact that, you know, to charge or to, to make those EVs go, you just still need power. Exactly. You need a lot of it. Yeah. And you needed to be able to be there in a way that is, well stable, and all of that good stuff continuous. See, I'm already digressing before we get into this conversation, give us a little background on who Marybeth is. Oh,


well, thank you so much for having me on your podcast. So


why would I? I've


been in the oil and gas industry for 22 years. I've


started at five years old when I started.


I'm 47. Now I


have to say that just run with the compliment.


Thank you. Thank you. Well, I've worked in enough like operating companies to kind of understand pipeline and LNG, and now I have the opportunity to work for a company that makes customized compressors. So I'm really excited about that. I'm in the technical sales for them.


When you mentioned LNG, are you because you're in the Houston area? There's some good LNG assets that reside in Texas. Yes. Have you been to some of those? Yeah, I've


actually been to the shinier facility here. Yeah. And Fincher Global's facilities here in Louisiana? Yeah. So yeah, mega projects.


They are Manda. Absolutely. The you can't stop staring at them. They're so big. Yeah. Wow. Somebody built that


the size and scale and how quickly they're up and running. You know, it's amazing. Oh, very good. All


right. Take us through. Take us through what you're talking about you. You mentioned one, carbon capture, and hydrogen. Yeah. Take us through carbon capture. What are you doing about that? And then, you know, what's the problem take us through that.


So most of carbon capture issues are because carbon is part of an exhaust stack are some kind of flue gas. And it's just one percentage of that flue gas, and its atmospheric pressure. And when we want to capture it, we have to extract it, run it through some aiming type solution to grab the carbon out of that flue gas, and then compress it up, dehydrate it, compress it more, and then eventually get it to a sequestration site where we can inject it in the ground. Or maybe there's other things that we can do with it, like, solid


carbon. Yeah, there's gotta be other application industrial applications. That's


it, right? There's a lot of people looking at other options, because you know, it's maybe not sustainable in the long term to keep sequestering it in the ground, although there's plenty of injection sites all around the world, saline aquifers, depleted oil and gas reservoirs. But it's also expensive because you have to get it to that that site, which is pipeline intensive, pressure intensive. And we make the compressors that do that. But we also make compressors that will deliver any co2 and other applications as well.


What about hydrogen? So hydrogens,


an energy storage option, right? It should never be confused for anything other than energy. already, because you're only going to make hydrogen when you don't have renewables available. If we could purely power the world on renewables right now, and they were available continuously all the time, we probably wouldn't need hydrogen. But because renewables are intermittent, and we don't have enough of them, hydrogen gives us the way to sustain the lows, and get through when the winds not blowing and the sun's not shining. And it's in very much more duration longer storage than batteries.


So what you're saying about hydrogen is that it's a it's a gas, we store it, we use it as a fuel. Yes. And and, and be able to turn that turbine or whatever we wanted to do that generator and be able to, yeah,


so we use it as a fuel gas, you know, either mixed in with natural gas, or maybe as I'm sure combustion source without natural gas, and it doesn't have the carbon as a hydrocarbon, it's just hydrogen. And it burns pretty well, and still gives you power. Why don't we Why don't we do that? Well, because it's expensive to make hydrogen, you can make it from water, you can make it from natural gas and sequester the co2 that comes off of it. Maybe you can drill under the ground and find it. I mean, there's companies looking at that right now. But right now, no one does that, because it's more expensive than the status quo.






I didn't I did. But we could still, but but there's, there's efforts to try to make it more economically viable, absolute. So these buses that you see that are, you know, energized by hydrogen. That's sort of a unique situation.


Yes, yes. So there's fuel cells that can use that hydrogen, fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen, long haul trucking has gone to looking at hydrogen, even though it's expensive, the companies are still saying, hey, you know, we think customers are willing to pay for it, they see the need to decarbonize our energy sources, and not have those global emissions.


Take us through fuel cells.


So fuel cells aren't necessarily my expertise,


doesn't matter. Make sure that you're comfortable and sort of speaking, whatever. There's no more than I do. Yeah.


So there's been companies working on fuel cell technology for a while. So at least there's, you know, some history and technology development that's gone in it. And there's fuel cell vehicles that run off of hydrogen right now. So the main thing is, it's kind of a chicken and egg game, you know, with hydrogen, you have to have the fueling stations before you convert your vehicle. But why would you convert your vehicle if you don't have the fueling stations that have hydrogen? Yeah.


See? Again, it? It gets down to that infrastructure. Right. And that's the same thing with the Wii. Yeah, okay. I got it, but they don't have it in where I'm driving, right. I don't know what to do.


And I don't know what those things were okay, maybe a little incentives in the market would help us because we just need an infrastructure build out, and then everything can move forward. And, you know,


but then again, it's it's a tremendous demand on the existing capacity of power that exists out there. Oh,


yes. On eBay, because yeah, I mean, there's two big things with EVs. It's that batteries are very intensive on the metals, the specialized metals, mainly nickel. And if you converted most of the world cars right now, it would use up all of the nickel that we have in the world, globally, forever. And then the in 10 years, we're going to need new batteries. But we already would have depleted all of the world's nickel supplies. Yeah. Never heard that argument. But you're right, yeah. And then we have grid capacity constraints, like not only you know, maybe we build in the charging stations or transformers. But the electrical grid itself, at least in the US is constrained. We don't have enough wires running,


you know how long the conversations been going on? Forever. When I was a, I was a jerk before I was born. I was a journeyman lineman transmission out of Southern California Edison, right. And so we were having conversations about re conducting. Oh, wow, because of the same thing back then. I had hair, no hair now. But that but but the problem was, nobody wanted to. It's expensive. And then the structure, the infrastructure can't handle the additional weight, the load that's on the structures. There's just like one thing after another and then, and then of course, it goes through a neighborhood and it's like, oh, yeah,


I live in Houston. And we had enough problems, you know, with that cold storm in 2021 with the grid and electrical supply, and now we're talking trying to add a little bit more demand in terms of electrical vehicles. It's just not going to be sustainable.


Did they upgrade their your grid? Did they do it?


there yet? We're just hoping for, you know, this kind of win or not getting like 2021 Yeah, that's just that's ERCOT prides itself in being independent. So we don't need the rest of the US. Yeah, they


do. They're an island. They are an island. Absolutely. And I never. It's like, yeah, okay, go for it. Man, I have added power to you. All the other utilities are all interconnected in some way, shape or form. Yeah. Imagine that. Oh, wheel over here. United States. Yeah, that's right. Except for ERCOT. Not us. It's not a slam on you guys. So, in one of the conversations we were having prior to this one, you indicated that you think that it's going to be carbon capture before hydrogen.


Yeah, because Okay, so even if we're chasing hydrogen, and we're trying to make some hydrogen, green hydrogen, pink hydrogen, blue hydrogen, the most sustainable and cheapest way to make hydrogen right now is from natural gas. And when you do that, you have the carbon that's coming off of that hydrocarbon chain, and that co2. So that's why we think co2 pipelines supporting blue hydrogen are kind of going to become in the forefront before we start to get a huge green hydrogen economy. I


have to ask for clarification, you rattled off some colors of hydrogen. Yes. Can you explain to me colors of hydrogen. So


green hydrogen is like what everybody wants, because it's green, right? So that's the idea of making hydrogen by splitting water, which kind of needs a lot of water. So that's kind of a negative on green hydrogen. But in theory, you're making it from water, hydrogen and oxygen, and you don't have any carbon. Got it. And you're using ideally renewable power to make that. So with renewable power, you don't even have power that's emitting carbon in the process. So that's another one that like oil and gas, people don't like to talk about this. But pink hydrogen is kind of a neat concept, because it's nuclear powered, powering that same electrolysis to split the water molecule. Peak. You know, I don't know, I don't know if nuclear people like to wear pink. I like being because of color. Yeah.


It's like, semi, I stumbled on that. It's a it's a little speed bump in the old conversation. So that comes from the nuclear.


Yeah, so a nuclear power plant could you know, have a portion of its power devoted to electrolysis, you know, little modules that use water to make, but it's instead of being powered by a wind turbine, it would be nuclear power. Yeah. Still no carbon there. So that's right. And then blue hydrogen, of course, is making, you know, hydrogen from natural gas, and then taking the co2 That's as a byproduct, capturing it and turning it into solid carbon or sequestering it underground. And that's the part where we we're aggressively thinking co2 compressors really support that. And we're going to see that in the near term a lot quicker than green hydrogen. You're cool. Thank you.


How do people get a hold of you? Because you're, you got it got spunk Marybeth?


Well, you can look me up on LinkedIn, that's probably the easiest way. Yeah.


I'm gonna have your link out there. Thank you. All right, listeners. We're gonna have all the contact information for Marybeth out on Industrial Talk, including her LinkedIn stat cart. So fear nod, reach out to her. She knows what she's talking about. incredible conversation. All right, I


have a podcast hang tight.


We're gonna wrap it up on the inside. So stay tuned. We will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network


All right, that's Marybeth McBain Bay sounds like a detective. She's with the Elliott group. And we were definitely talking about carbon capture as well as hydrogen and solutions all around that in between and she just hit a home run after home run. She's batting 1000 sports analogies everywhere. Marybeth, reach out to her. We'll have all our contact information out on Industrial Talk as indicated in the interview. She's, she's got solutions. So figure that out. All right. Industrial Talk is a platform for you, industry professionals to amplify your voice. I keep saying it all the time. You want to do that. You want to open up opportunities. Go out to Industrial Talk, reach out, connect with me. Let's have a conversation. Let's get your story told just because it's important. We need to solve problems, educate, collaborate, innovate. That's what we do here. Be bold, be brave, daring greatly. I say it all the time again. Mary Beth is who you need to contact. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly. So stay tuned.

Industrial Talk is onsite at PowerGen and talking to Marybeth McBain, Product Line Manager - Compressors with Elliott Group about "Carbon capture and hydrogen solutions for Power Generation".
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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