The provisional State of the Global Climate report by the World Meteorological Organization indicates that 2023 is poised to become the warmest year on record, with a 1.4°C increase from the pre-industrial baseline. Despite record-breaking trends in greenhouse gas levels, rising sea levels, and declining Antarctic sea ice, global initiatives to limit warming to 1.5°C are inadequately progressing, notably in electric passenger car sales.
INTRODUCTION TO TWO KEY TECHNOLOGIES COMBATING CARBON EMISSIONS: CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE (CCS) AND CARBON DIOXIDE REMOVAL (CDR)
What are they and how are they different?
CCS(Carbon Capture and Storage):
CCS is a technology designed to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from industrial processes and power generation. The captured CO2 is then transported and stored underground, preventing its release into the atmosphere.
- CCS focuses on preventing CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas concentrations.
CDR(Carbon Dioxide Removal):
CDR refers to a set of technologies and techniques designed to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere or prevent its release at the source. It is a broader concept that encompasses various methods, including biological, chemical, and physical approaches.
- CDR aims to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere or prevent its release, offering a complementary approach to reducing emissions.
CCS and CDR Differences:
- CCS primarily targets preventing CO2 emissions from specific sources, like power plants.
- CDR focuses on actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere or preventing its release, providing a more comprehensive approach to climate mitigation.
- CCS is centered on capturing emissions at specific industrial points.
- CDR encompasses a broader range of methods, including direct removal from the atmosphere and natural processes like afforestation.
- CCS is often integrated into large-scale industrial facilities.
- CDR methods vary widely and can be applied on a smaller scale, including DAC technologies and nature-based solutions.
HOW AND WHERE THEY ARE BEING USED AROUND THE WORLD?
Carbon Capture and Storage
Industrial Facilities: CCS is integrated into industrial processes, capturing CO2 emissions from power plants and cement factories.
Sleipner Project (Norway): One of the earliest CCS projects, injecting captured CO2 into a saline aquifer to reduce emissions from natural gas production.
Power Generation: Applied in power plants, CCS technology captures CO2 produced during the combustion of fossil fuels.
Boundary Dam (Canada): A coal-fired power plant with CCS, capturing CO2 for storage and preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Direct Air Capture (DAC): Technologies like DAC actively pull CO2 from the air using chemical processes.
Climeworks (Switzerland): A company deploying DAC technology to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere.
Afforestation and Reforestation: Planting trees or restoring forests to absorb and store CO2.
Great Green Wall (Africa): An afforestation in initiative spanning.
CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) Pitfalls:
CCS may create a false sense of security, allowing continued emissions and repurposing captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, undermining the transition to cleaner energy.
CDR (Carbon Dioxide Removal) Pitfalls:
CDR’s potential to remove CO2 from the atmosphere raises concerns of becoming a “backstop” solution, potentially delaying the necessary shift away from fossil fuels.
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