Bingshan’s transcritical CO2 rack at the 2024 China Refrigeration Expo.
Bingshan’s transcritical CO2 rack at the 2024 China Refrigeration Expo.

Bingshan Group Pioneers Carbon Capture with Transcritical CO2 in China’s Marine Sector

The company also shared details of its commercial and industrial CO2 projects with NaturalRefrigerants.com.

China-based Bingshan Group, which is co-owned by Panasonic Holdings, is pioneering carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology in China’s marine sector with the help of transcritical CO2 (R744) racks in what is thought to be the first project of its kind.

The technology involves recovering CO2 emissions from ships’ engines and is built around compressors from Italian and German manufacturers Dorin and Bitzer, which pack 200–300HP. Project testing concluded in December 2023.

Details of the project were shared by Bingshan’s Jing Yanrong, R&D Vice Director and Senior Engineer, and Tan YongAn, Engineering Technology Department GM, in an interview with NaturalRefrigerants.com at the 2024 China Refrigeration Expo, held in Beijing April 8–10.

According to Yanrong and YongAn, the company is optimistic about the transcritical CO2 market in China over the next five years, especially in the northern region. Around 100 transcritical CO2 projects could be supported if its CCUS technology is successful and new government policies help facilitate the conversion of marine vessels, they said.

To ensure CO2 is a competitive alternative to ammonia (R717) in the industrial sector, efforts are needed to boost the efficiency of CO2 systems with the integration of heat recovery, they added.

The Bingshan Group is well established in China’s HVAC&R sector and owns Sonyo Compressor and Sonyo Refrigeration, previously known as Panasonic Appliances Compressor and Panasonic Appliances Cold Chain, respectively. Sonyo Compressors operates under the brand name Bsonyo.

Commercial and industrial CO2 in China

Beyond the marine CCUS project, Bingshan has several R744 installations in commercial and industrial applications.

The group’s CO2 projects in China consist of two ice rinks, one Nestlé cold storage facility, six projects with Sam’s Club, one Chaoshifa supermarket and outdoor condensing units at two Lawson convenience stores.

Bingshan is also negotiating with two possible project developers that have shown interest in transcritical CO2, including one building a 36,000m3 (1.3 million ft3) cold storage facility in northern China.

Moving forward, the company is focused predominantly on industrial projects, with plans to design larger systems for these applications, explained Yanrong and YongAn. However, challenges surrounding the supply of components – most of which are imported – must be overcome to prepare for an increase in demand, they said.

While the adoption of natural refrigerant solutions continues to rise in China – particularly propane (R290)-based technologies in the light-commercial sector – interest in new synthetic refrigerants threaten the deployment of ammonia and CO2 equipment in industrial applications.

The introduction of government subsidies for natural refrigerants – like those seen in Japan – could stimulate adoption. However, they have yet to be announced in China.

The company’s impact extends beyond China, having produced 32 transcritical CO2 racks for the Japanese market at its factory in Dalian, northeastern China.

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