Wil Sillen's post

In South Korea, desalination of seawater and CO2 capture go hand in hand
By: Kaz Schonebeek
The American-New Zealand start-up Capture6 has signed a cooperation agreement with the Korean state water company K-water. They are working on a factory that desalinates seawater and removes CO2 from the air.
Capture6 and K-water will start work at the Daesan Petrochemical Complex, one of the largest chemical parks in South Korea. The petrochemical industry processes oil and gas to make gasoline, polymers and plastics. Processes that release a lot of CO2. The region has also experienced major droughts in recent years. To meet water demand, K-water desalinates seawater to produce drinking water and water for industrial processes.

Brine and chalky minerals
Combining water desalination and CO2 capture in one facility should alleviate the harmful effects of both the petrochemical industry and desalination plants. Brine water is created when seawater is desalinated. This very salty water is now discharged back into the sea, which is bad for marine life. Capture6 uses the brine water as a raw material for its Direct Air Caption technology.

With 'Direct Air Caption', CO2 is removed from the atmosphere by passing air past a chemical substance. This substance binds CO2. This is mixed with calcium, creating a chalky mineral. These solid chunks of carbon can be used, for example as building material, or buried underground. Clean water and chemicals used by the petrochemical industry are produced as by-products.

Capturing and emitting CO2
What is somewhat unfortunate is that the desalination plant and the Direct Air Caption system consume a lot of electricity. South Korea is heavily dependent on coal and natural gas for electricity production and is at the bottom of global lists for generating renewable energy. The capture process itself therefore creates a significant amount of new CO2 in the atmosphere. This means that part of the climate gain is somewhat negated.

The parties want to have a facility that will remove 500,000 tons of CO2 from the air every year by 2026 at the latest. This will make the installation the largest of its kind in Asia.

  • George Kariuki

    11 w

    This is a great technological idea.

    • Tabitha Kimani

      12 w

      This is a brilliant technology and I suppose with time it will be refined to work efficiently.

      • Munene Mugambi

        12 w

        This South Korean efficiency in desalination and carbon capture is an idea worth exploring by other nations

        • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

          12 w

          The notable increase in global renewable energy capacity, as reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA), is undeniably a step in the right direction. The addition of nearly 510 gigawatts in 2023 and the ambitious aim to triple global renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade are commendable efforts in the fight against climate change. The positive projections until 2028 reflect the momentum building in the renewable energy sector.

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