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CCS prevents carbon dioxide emissions from entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
The deployment and scalability of CCS technologies can vary, and ongoing research and development of new approaches to carbon capture and storage are continuing to be explored.
Post-combustion captures CO2 from flue gases emitted by power plants and industrial facilities after the combustion of fossil fuels.
It typically involves using solvents or sorbents to capture CO2 from the flue gas stream.
Pre-combustion capture involves capturing CO2 before fuel is burnt.
It is often used in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants, where the fuel is converted into a synthetic gas (syngas) that is rich in hydrogen and CO2.
The CO2 is then separated from the syngas before combustion.
Oxy-fuel combustion involves burning fuel with pure oxygen instead of air, resulting in a flue gas stream predominantly composed of CO2 and water vapour.
The CO2 is captured from the flue gas using various separation methods.
DAC technology captures CO2 directly from the ambient air.
It typically involves using chemical sorbents or filters to capture and concentrate CO2, which can then be stored or utilised.
This method involves capturing CO2 emissions from power plants or industrial facilities and using the captured CO2 to enhance the extraction of oil from depleted oil wells.
The captured CO2 is injected into the wells, helping to push the remaining oil to the surface.
The CO2 is then stored permanently underground.
Mineral carbonation involves capturing CO2 and reacting it with certain types of minerals to form stable carbonates.
This can be done naturally, but it can also be accelerated through engineered processes.
Mineral carbonation has the potential to store CO2 for long periods of time.
BECCS combines the use of biomass energy production with carbon capture and storage. Biomass, such as crops or wood pellets, are burnt to produce energy.
The resulting CO2 emissions are captured and stored, which creates negative emissions by removing CO2 from the atmosphe
Carbon can be stored in reservoirs known as carbon sinks. Carbon sinks can be particular types of geological structures, forests, certain types of soils, and wetlands.
Underground locations can have depleted oil and gas reservoirs or deep saline aquifers.
This prevents the CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Forests are among the most significant natural carbon sinks.
This is because trees absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and store it in their biomass and in the soil as part of a process called terrestrial carbon sequestration.
Wetlands are excellent carbon sinks.
They store large amounts of organic matter in the form of peat, which accumulates over centuries.
Peatlands alone contain twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined.
Oceans act as a substantial carbon sink.
They absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through a process called oceanic carbon sequestration. The absorbed CO2 dissolves in seawater, forming carbonic acid.
Some of it remains in solution, while some is taken up by marine plants, such as phytoplankton, through photosynthesis.
Soil can store significant amounts of carbon, especially in organic matter such as plant debris, roots, and microbial biomass.
Agricultural practices, such as conservation tillage, cover cropping, and rotational grazing, can enhance carbon sequestration in soils.
Certain geologic formations, such as deep saline aquifers and unmineable coal seams, have the capacity to store significant amounts of CO2 underground over long periods of time in a process called geologic carbon sequestration.
Urban areas with parks, gardens, and green roofs can act as localised carbon sinks. Vegetation in these spaces absorbs and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Reclaimed carbon from emissions can be reused to create saleable products. Projects where we assess the potential for products to be created from reclaimed carbon are called carbon to other products or C2X.
Other than CCS, here are some of the ways that carbon can be reclaimed.
Rather than storing reclaimed CO2 permanently, it can be used as a valuable resource for the production of various products.
Technologies and processes that convert CO2 into useful materials include:
Reclaimed carbon from emissions, specifically CO2, can be used as a feedstock for the production of various products.
While some of these technologies are still in the early stages of development, here are some potential products that can be made from reclaimed carbon.
CO2 can be converted into carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative fuels through processes like carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) or carbon capture and storage (CCS). For example, CO2 can be combined with hydrogen (often derived from renewable sources) to produce synthetic methane, methanol, or other hydrocarbon fuels. These fuels can be used in transportation or as energy sources with reduced net carbon emissions.