Article

Carbon Capture Technology: A Game-Changer for Climate Change Mitigation

As the climate crisis intensifies, innovative solutions are needed to combat rising carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon capture technology, specifically Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), holds immense potential in our fight against climate change.



With recent advancements and increasing momentum, BECCS is poised to play a transformative role in our journey towards a sustainable future.



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Understanding BECCS and Its Current Progress:



BECCS involves capturing carbon dioxide from biogenic sources and storing it permanently. Currently, the annual capture of biogenic CO2 stands at approximately 2 Mt, primarily in bioethanol applications. However, based on ongoing projects, carbon removal through BECCS is projected to reach around 40 Mt CO2 per year by 2030.
While this falls short of the estimated 250 Mt/yr target for BECCS in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the momentum behind BECCS has grown significantly in recent years.
Although, according to the IEA by 2030 we will need to remove 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year through BECCS compared to the mere 1 million tonnes today.
But how does it actually work?

How Carbon Capture Works


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Carbon capture technology, specifically Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, works by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biogenic sources and permanently storing them. The process can be broken down into three simple steps:
  1. Capturing CO2: First, carbon dioxide is captured from biogenic sources like power plants or industrial facilities. These sources produce CO2 as a byproduct of their operations. Specialized equipment is used to trap and separate the CO2 from other gases before it is released into the atmosphere.
  2. Bioenergy Production: In the next step, bioenergy comes into play. Instead of relying solely on fossil fuels, bioenergy uses renewable sources such as plants, crops, or organic waste. These biomass materials are converted into energy through processes like combustion or fermentation. This bioenergy production generates CO2 as well.
  3. Storage and Permanent Removal: Here comes the crucial part. The captured CO2 from both the biogenic sources and bioenergy production is then transported to storage sites. These sites can be deep underground, such as depleted oil and gas fields or saline aquifers. The CO2 is injected into these storage reservoirs, where it remains trapped and isolated from the atmosphere, effectively removing it from the carbon cycle.
By combining the capture of CO2 emissions from biogenic sources and the use of renewable bioenergy, BECCS enables the removal and storage of CO2 that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Rapid Growth and Deployment:



The interest in BECCS has surged, with plans for over 50 new facilities involving BECCS announced between January 2021 and June 2022. These projects, across various BECCS applications, are expected to contribute to a biogenic capture capacity of approximately 20 Mt CO2 per year.
The increased focus can be attributed to the net-zero commitments made by companies and countries worldwide, recognizing the urgency of addressing climate change.
Scaling Up for a Sustainable Future:
To effectively mitigate climate change, the scaling up of BECCS and other carbon capture technologies is paramount. While the current progress is promising, it is crucial to accelerate the deployment of BECCS to meet the ambitious targets set for 2030 and beyond.
Collaboration between governments, industries, and research institutions is essential to foster innovation, optimize efficiency, and overcome existing challenges.

The Moonshot Mentality:



Just as the moon landing exemplified the extraordinary achievements possible through determination and collaboration, the scale-up of carbon capture technologies embodies a similar spirit. The urgency of the climate crisis necessitates bold and transformative solutions.
By embracing the potential of BECCS and other carbon capture techniques, we can pave the way for a sustainable future, ensuring the well-being of our planet and future generations.

Conclusion:



Carbon capture technology, particularly BECCS, offers a ground-breaking approach to addressing the climate crisis. With the capacity to capture and permanently store biogenic carbon dioxide, BECCS has the potential to make a significant impact on reducing emissions and stabilizing the Earth's climate. The growing momentum behind BECCS, evident in the increasing number of projects and commitments, signifies a collective determination to combat climate change.
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  • Munene Mugambi

    49 w

    With the implementation of carbon capture techniques, we could greatly impact our emission numbers and reduce carbon footprints

    1
    Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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