Decarbonisation Technology - November 2023 Issue

Technological challenges facing the current carbon market Carbon capture technology could significantly reduce emissions. But what issues need to be addressed before these processes can be utilised?

Charles L Kimtantas and Joe Selby Bechtel Energy Technologies and Solutions

A s the world continues to grapple with the impacts of climate change, the need for innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions has become increasingly pressing. One such solution that has gained significant attention in recent years is carbon capture technology, which holds the potential to significantly reduce emissions from industrial processes and power generation. However, with new technologies and the application to new or different sources of carbon dioxide (CO₂) come questions about their readiness and feasibility. This article explores the current state of technology readiness for carbon capture and what challenges must still

be addressed before widespread adoption can occur. CO 2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) accumulate in the atmosphere and act like a greenhouse to trap the sun’s heat. Excessive GHG are causing the atmosphere to trap more heat (see Figure 1 ), and this can cause: • The atmospheric temperature to increase, deserts to form, and natural ice sources to melt, thereby leading to increasing ocean levels and flooding of low-lying coastal areas of the world. • An intensification of weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and rainstorms, and the resulting increase in risk to life and damage to property.

GHG emissions by gas

Global GHG emissions by economic sector

Nitrous oxide 6%

Other energy 10%

F-gases 2%

Methane 16%

Carbon dioxide ( forestry and land use ) 11%

Agricultur e , forestry and other land use 24%

Industry 21%

Transportation 14%

Carbon dioxide ( fossil fuel and industrial processes) 65%

Electricity and heat production 25%

Buildings 6%

Figure 1 Total US greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector in 2021 Source: Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (EPA 2021)


Powered by