Decarbonisation Technology - May 2023 Issue

Carbon utilisation to accelerate the transition to net zero Captured carbon can be converted into valuable products, enabling circularity and decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries

Cecilia Mondelli Sulzer Chemtech Brent Konstantz Blue Planet Systems

G lobal decarbonisation targets are driving the demand for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) solutions that can be applied within power generation and manufacturing facilities to slash CO 2 emissions. As the CCUS offering continues to expand, it is important for companies to be able to recognise the technologies that are ready and feasible for commercial use and best suited to drive more sustainable practices while maximising profitability and efficiency. Since the beginning of the first Industrial Revolution in 1750, more than 1.7 trillion tonnes of CO 2 have been emitted, most of which (87%) were due to the combustion of fossil fuels from the second half of the 20th century onwards (Friedlingstein, et al ., 2022). On average, global emissions increased by nearly 2.8% annually from 1950 to 2021, and are now more than 63% above the levels of 1990 (Friedlingstein, et al. , 2022), the reference year for the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This continuous growth is in stark contrast to worldwide efforts to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. In fact, meeting these targets would require a linear decrease in anthropogenic CO 2 emissions by about 1.4 billion tonnes of CO 2 each year (Friedlingstein, et al ., 2022). To meet this challenge, energy and manufacturing players worldwide need to adopt suitable mitigation strategies and solutions. Industrial GHG emissions comprise 29% of global emissions. Eliminating the emissions from the use of energy in industry and direct

Enhanced oil recovery

Food and beverage


Chemicals, solvents and fertilisers



Inorganic carbonates


Cured concrete


Membrane separation

Synthetic aggregates


Cryogenic separation


industrial processes would curtail global emissions by 14.7 billion tonnes per annum (Ritchie, Roser, & Rosado, 2020). Fortunately, industrial players can employ a range of technologies to reduce their carbon emissions. One of the most popular and effective groups of technologies currently available is CCUS, which embraces carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU, see Figure 1 ). CCUS techniques within the energy sector are generally classified based on how emissions are captured and then processed, as outlined below. Carbon capture methodologies When looking at capturing methodologies, these are generally discerned within the energy sector as pre-, post-, and oxy- fuel combustion solutions, depending on Figure 1 Overview of the main CCUS solutions currently available or under development, with the main solutions discussed in this article highlighted in colour


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