Carbon capture is a technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes and power generation before it is released into the atmosphere. This captured CO2 can then be stored underground, used in enhanced oil recovery, or converted into useful products.
The technology is an important step in reducing the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere and mitigating the effects of climate change. However, it is still an emerging technology and more research is needed to make it cost-effective and widely available.
There are several different types of carbon capture technologies currently available, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
This technology captures CO2 before it is released by burning fossil fuels. The fuel is first converted into a mixture of hydrogen and CO2, and the CO2 is then separated and captured. This process is most commonly used in natural gas power plants.
This technology captures CO2 after it has been released by burning fossil fuels. There is a variety of processes and solutions in this space such as chemical solvents, solid adsorbents , membrane-based separation and enzymatic enhanced solutions. For chemical solvents the flue gas from the emitting plant is passed through a absorbing liquid solvent that absorbs the CO2, which is then separated and captured. This process is most commonly used in by industrial emitters and coal-fired power plants.
This technology involves burning fossil fuels in an oxygen-rich environment, which produces a stream of flue gas that is mostly made up of CO2. The CO2 can then be separated and captured more easily. This process is used in industrial processes such as cement production.
Direct air capture
This technology captures CO2 directly from the air using a chemical process. The captured CO2 can then be stored underground or used in other industrial processes. This process is still in the early stages of development and is considered to be more expensive than other carbon capture technologies.
Each of these technologies has its own benefits and drawbacks and the most suitable one is selected based on the specific application and circumstances. For example, pre-combustion capture may be more efficient for natural gas power plants, while post-combustion capture may be more appropriate for coal-fired power plants.
Carbon capture technology is a promising solution for reducing CO2 emissions and slowing the effects of climate change. However, it is important to note that it is not a standalone solution and must be used in conjunction with other measures such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. With continued research and development, it is possible to make carbon capture technology more cost-effective and widely available.