With new developments made each day in the fight against climate change, new, life-changing technologies are being introduced. One of the latest ones is Carbon Capture.
What is Carbon Capture?
Carbon Capture is a method used to reduce the amount of carbon emissions, a key component of climate change.
Three step process
The carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during power generation and industrial activity is captured and subjects to a series of mechanical and chemical processes. After the processes, the carbon dioxide is separated from the other gasses.
The captured CO2 is compressed into a liquid form for easy transportation and storage. The liquid CO2 is transported through pipelines, trucks, and ships to a storage site.
Lastly, the carbon dioxide is stored deep underground in geologic reservoirs. The emissions are sometimes injected into rocks deep underground for future uses. Sites for storage include saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas reservoirs, usually half a mile deep.
How does Carbon Capture help the environment?
The strategy to reduce emissions is to trap the gas at the same place where it is produced so that the greenhouse gas is not emitted. The captured gas can then be stored. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as IPCC, estimated that capturing carbon at the plant could potentially reduce emissions by 80%-90% compared to a normal no-storage plant. Captured carbon can also be used as feedstock to produce products such as low-carbon fuels, cement, or plastics.
Storing the Carbon
A 1,000-megawatt power plant will generate six million tons of carbon dioxide each year. The CO2 captured from this power plant needs to be transported and stored. That storage needs space. Various researchers are finding new ways to store the gas - deep underground, in the ocean, and turning it into minerals through chemical reactions. A few options include trapping the air in rocks, trapping it in the ocean, and trapping it in minerals. There are a few risks associated with storing CO2 - the stored CO2 could leak causing climate change effects, contaminating the water supply, etc.
Along with many other new technologies, Carbon Capture is a key technology that can help save the planet.