Decarbonisation Technology - November 2023 Issue

• In 2021, the US re-joined the Paris Agreement. • In 2022, two US legislative actions “in combination with past actions, are projected to drive 2030 economy wide GHG emissions to 40% below 2005 levels. The clean energy provisions of these two laws, are estimated to reduce emissions by approximately 1,000 MMT CO₂e in 2030.” (Approximately 15% reduction) (US Dept of Energy, 2022) Carbon capture impact on society • Carbon capture will require an unprecedented amount of new energy investment. • Fossil fuel infrastructure built over centuries needs to be replaced within the next few decades by clean energy alternatives. The US will need to:   Build thousands of square miles of wind and solar farms   Deploy battery storage to keep power flowing even on calm, cloudy days  Build next-generation nuclear power plants   Double the country’s transmission line capacity. • The ‘Not In My Back Yard’ (NIMBY) groups are using the environmental laws to delay or get cancelled new green projects (Stapp, 2022):  Windmills off Cape Cod  Geothermal facility in Nevada  Largest solar farm in America. • Increasing the growth rate for electrical generation will be required. • “Increasing the growth rate of electricity transmission will not happen without comprehensive legislation on permitting reform. Moreover, the magnitude of the task to transform the U.S. economy can only be fully understood in the context of the land required for green energy projects. Consider that researchers say wind and solar expansion would require up to 590,000 square kilometres of land. That amount of land is larger than New England plus Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. That is big. It will not happen.” (Rogan, 2022) • Electrification of transport and industrial process heat and residential heating. Public and workplace health and safety There will be possible impacts on public health and the workplace due to emissions generated by new technologies. These new emissions will

need to be evaluated and possibly mitigated to minimise any new health or safety challenges to the public or private sectors. Conclusion There is a large number and variety of carbon capture technologies. Some of these, like generic amines and blended generic amines, have been in use for decades. These technologies are well-proven, with hundreds of commercial plants operating for decades. These have been primarily for pre- combustion applications such as natural gas treating for CO₂ and H₂S removal to meet fundamental specifications, including LNG, pipeline, household natural gas appliances, refinery process heater fuel, and electric power generation. With the need to reduce the amount of CO₂ that is going into the atmosphere, many new and creative technologies are being developed and tested. As these are proven to be cost- effective, they will move into the arena of commercial carbon capture. These will require site analysis, engineering, and economic studies to determine which technology will be the best for a specific location and application. Considerations after capturing carbon After the carbon is captured, it needs to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. This will require using the CO 2 to produce hydrocarbons, such as propane, gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel, to replace existing crude oil-based fuels; for enhanced oil recovery; for long-term below-ground storage after clean-up and compression; or for conversion to environmentally neutral materials, such as elemental carbon, calcium carbonate for road foundations, or other neutral chemical compounds.


Charles L. Kimtantas Joe Selby


Powered by