Carbon Capture and Challenges

According to a latest review of scientific research, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that processes like Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) both are needed to wipe out the pollution from Industries like Chemical and cement. About Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS):
  • Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), is a process that captures carbon dioxide emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants and either reuses or stores it so it will not enter the atmosphere.
  • Carbon dioxide storage in geologic formations includes oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams and deep saline reservoirs — structures that have stored crude oil, natural gas, brine and carbon dioxide over millions of years.
Process involved in CCS:
  • CO2 captured using CCU technologies are converted into fuel(methane and methanol), refrigerants and building materials.
  • The captured gas is used directly in fire extinguisherspharmafood and beverage industriesas well as the agricultural sector.
  • Using CO2 to improve crop yields in agricultural greenhousesand enhanced oil recovery are two examples of mature CCU technologies.
  • Combining CO2 with steel slag (an industrial by-product of the steel manufacturing process) to make construction materialsare compatible with the Paris Agreement goals.
  • Taking stock of the current CCU technologies in meeting the Paris goals can help nations redirect funding to technologies that are more likely to reduce emissions drastically.
Why is CCS controversial?
  • Activists have called out energy companies for failing to capture much carbon while at the same time drilling for oil and lobbying against laws to cut fossil fuel production.
  • They have pushed policymakers to put more weight on societal shifts — like cutting energy demand.
  • CCS also gives companies fighting to burn fossil fuels access to policymakers and a social license to operate referring to public acceptance of their business model.
Why Carbon dioxide removal is needed?
  • Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) refers to approaches that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
  • CDR encompasses a wide array of approaches, including direct air capture (DAC) coupled to durable storage, soil carbon sequestration, biomass carbon removal and storage, enhanced mineralization, ocean-based CDR, and afforestation/reforestation.
  • CDR does not refer to point source carbon capture for the fossil fuel or industrial sector.
  • Paired with simultaneous deployment of mitigation measures and other carbon management practices, CDR is a tool to address emissions from the hardest to decarbonize sectors—like agriculture and transportation—and to eventually remove legacy CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

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