A software platform that will help companies efficiently implement carbon capture and utilization processes is part of a partnership between Aspen Technology and Aramco.
The modeling and optimization platform will help industries find practical and economical results for carbon capture and utilization (CCU), according to the partnership. It will help companies find a balance between emissions reductions and business operations and evaluate the risks of sustainability initiatives.
The idea that a technology called carbon capture and storage (CCS) could catch molecules of CO₂ as they emerge from the chimneys of power stations and factories has been around for more than two decades. Michael Gove, the secretary of state responsible for “levelling up” the UK’s regions, recently justified his approval of the UK’s first new coal mine in 30 years with “increased use of CCS”. There’s only one problem: CCS won’t cancel out Woodhouse Colliery’s emissions, which are estimated at 400,000 tonnes a year, because it barely exists.
The UK government first started talking about CCS in the late 1990s, when it was looking to meet and exceed its commitment to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.
The fact that developing countries like China and India were planning to burn coal for decades made the UK consider starting a CCS industry as its “gift to the world”, in the words of one senior lobbyist I interviewed for research into industrial decarbonisation.
It’s obvious why oil and gas companies like the idea of CCS. Fossil fuel firms can keep extracting and selling their product (coking coal for the steel industry in the case of the new mine in Cumbria, north-west England, almost all of which is expected to be exported) and mopping up the climate-wrecking emissions is someone else’s responsibility. Politicians have been more circumspect. Some have chafed at the enormous upfront cost of developing and installing CCS and sinking taxpayers’ money into a potential white elephant.
Advocates of a greenhouse gas removal industry which would scrub excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now envisage a vast network of pipes and ships transporting captured CO₂ to storage facilities. One group known as the Coalition for Negative Emissions, composed of energy firms and airlines among other companies, sees the potential in CCS to allow societies to “decarbonise while ensuring continued economic progress”. It also points out, (fairly, in my opinion) that “the enabling infrastructure [has] significant scale-up times [and] this acceleration needs to start today”.
Amid all these breathless position papers and adverts, it can be easy to forget that pilot programmes for CCS have been plagued by cost-overruns and operational failures. CCS is still many years away from making a dent in humanity’s emissions, even if everything goes much more smoothly than it has – repeatedly – in the past.
To use the possible commercial existence of CCS some time in the future as a reason to wave through a high-carbon development now, as Gove has done, is a good example of what some fellow academics have called “mitigation deterrence”.
Meaning, efforts at mitigating climate change (by reducing the amount of carbon spewed into the atmosphere) are deterred by the real or imagined existence of future technologies that might work. It’s the equivalent of smoking more and more cigarettes each day and gambling that a cure for cancer will exist by the time you need it.
A $190-million runway and taxiway reconstruction project at Indianapolis International Airport features the first-ever Federal Aviation Administration-approved use of a carbon capture technology in the pavement. The project is the first of its kind to receive Envision Platinum certification.
The project uses CarbonCure, a technology that introduces recycled CO2 into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance. Once injected, the CO2 undergoes mineralization and is permanently embedded.
Scientists and entrepreneurs around the world are working on innovations to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ease the gas’s impact on climate change. While some focus on preventing CO2 from being released in the first place, such as with low- or no-carbon transportation technologies, others are perfecting methods for grabbing CO2 directly from the air and storing it or turning it into valuable products.
Researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are doing the latter by creating man-made rocks from CO2. The resulting material also could be used to make cement. Cement production is a carbon-intensive industry and is becoming more so, but innovative carbon capture technologies can help to reverse the trend, according to the International Energy Agency.
A transformational absorption-based carbon capture technology long supported by NETL that can help lower the cost of more effectively eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) in a range of industrial applications is the subject of a new agreement between two technology development organizations to accelerate industrialization and scale-up.
Schlumberger, a technology company that works with partners to deploy innovative technologies on a global basis, and RTI International, an independent nonprofit research institute dedicated to advancing objective and multidisciplinary answers to scientific challenges, announced that they will work together to accelerate the scale-up of a non-aqueous solvent (NAS) technology that enhances the efficiency of absorption-based CO2 capture in industrial applications.
Decarbonizing the construction industry is currently a central research focus. Engineers and scientists have extensively explored innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions and consequent climate change-inducing characteristics of materials and processes.
Some of the world’s major oil companies remain internally skeptical about the “energy transition” to a low-carbon economy, even as they publicly portray their firms as partners in the cause, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post that a House committee released Friday.
The documents arepart of atrove obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform during a year-long investigation. They reveal oil company executives dismissing the potential for renewable energy to quickly replace fossil fuels, while working to secure a future for natural gas. They also detail industry efforts to secure government tax credits for carbon capture projects that might relieve them of the need to drastically alter their business models.
The documents — many of them copies of internal emails between oil company officials — describe ExxonMobil’s efforts in 2021 to persuade big industrial firms and oil giants to co-sponsor a mammoth carbon capture project in Texas. Elsewhere, in one email string, officials at Shelldiscuss whether BP, Shell and TotalEnergies — a French oil firm — increased their carbon footprints by selling Canadian oil sands interests to moreeager investors.