Could carbon capture technology be the key to a zero-zero future?

With the White House announcing that it will invest $2.3 billion in carbon capture over the coming years, it’s understandable why companies are racing to come up with the best new technologies. As governments and energy companies set ambitious targets for carbon reduction, this is only the beginning of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

Last week, the US Department of Energy reported that it had begun bipartisan distribution of the $2.3 billion earmarked for CCS technology in President Biden’s Infrastructure Act. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to explain Why the United States is investing in CCS technology, as well as clean energy development, “Our number one preference is sure to make sure we’re powered by clean, zero-carbon energy. We do all of that. But you can walk and chew gum.” Adding, “There is criticism that something like this – carbon capture and sequestration – only prolongs the assets that [fuel] The industry will use… I will say this: Anything we can do to decarbonize is a good thing. “

Decarbonization by integrating CCS technologies into ongoing fossil fuel operations will help the United States achieve its goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 2050. By investing heavily in several CCS companies and technologies, Granholm hopes that the price of capture will fall. carbon through new innovations.

The major oil companies are also Betting on the future of carbon dioxide capture and storage ExxonMobil announced that it values ​​the carbon capture market $4 trillion by 2050. Meanwhile, US energy company Occidental Petroleum creates the largest carbon dioxide2 extraction project in the world, considering that CCS will eventually become a $3-5 trillion industry.

And now major names, such as Bill Gates, support CCS. Recently, Breakthrough Energy Ventures announced an investment in Gates’ climate technology Five investments to develop carbon dioxide capture and storage. At present, oil and gas companies can choose whether or not to use CCS in their operations, depending on their eagerness to remove carbon while continuing to produce fossil fuels. But if governments around the world impose carbon taxes, carbon sequestration could become more common.

While many environmental experts are skeptical about investments in CCS technology, suggesting that it could be better placed in renewable energy projects, many international organizations recognize the need for CCS. In the 2021 Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advertiser “Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is necessary to achieve net emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases at the global and national levels, and to offset remaining ‘hard-to-mitt’ emissions.”

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With increased interest and funding in the field of carbon dioxide capture and storage, many innovations have emerged around the world. In Israel, the company owns High Hopes Lab Design a balloon to capture carbon It can be sent up to 9 miles into the air to capture and freeze carbon. The balloon drops again with the carbon dioxide stored inside to sell for industrial use or pumped into the ground to be safely disposed of. The company believes this technology is scalable and can significantly reduce CO2 capture and storage costs, and aims to cost it anywhere from $100 to $250 per ton of carbon sequestered, and ultimately $40 to $50.

The Swiss company Climeworks AG is also developing its own CCS plans, Raised $650 million to expand operations in Iceland. Currently, the facility, the largest direct air capture plant in the world, captures about 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide2 annually. Climeworks hopes to build a plant that can capture 40,000 tons over the next three years, aiming to sequester 1 million tons of carbon annually by 2030.

The company is dedicated to using renewable energy in its operations. Its current CCS technology moves large volumes of air over a chemical that is used to filter carbon dioxide2. The compound is heated to a high temperature to release carbon dioxide2, which is then injected underground. However, since the process is energy-intensive, Climeworks relies on green energy to fuel the plant to ensure that the process is carbon-neutral.

In April, a small company at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Carbin Minerals Inc. Technology that speeds up the capture of carbon dioxide by rocks from the atmosphere. received $1 million in funding last year, which allowed it to make a breakthrough in technology. To prove its feasibility, the company won XPRIZE money, which it expects will help it further develop the technology and partner with companies to support their CCS operations.

While carbon capture and storage technologies are rapidly advancing, there is still uncertainty about the long-term environmental safety associated with CO2 injection2 Underground, as many projects are currently doing. in this time, Energy companies can relinquish responsibility for CCS activitiesshifting the responsibility to the government, in the case of the US political authorities now have the responsibility to regulate the CCS industry, new technologies emerge and operations become more widespread.

Companies are improving high-speed carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies, and coming up with innovative ways to capture carbon dioxide2on a larger scale and at a lower cost. As the US government and many major energy companies invest heavily in technology, it will soon become a common occurrence in energy operations around the world.

By Felicity Bradstock for

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