A massive plant capable of removing one million tons of CO2 from the air every year | Image credit: Storeega.
New Delhi witnessed a record temperature of 43.4 degrees Celsius on 30 June 2021. It is also said to 7 degrees above the normal temperature. Numerous reasons were cited. Reasons included delay in the arrival of monsoon. It was also affirmed by the meteorological department that the southwest monsoon hit western Rajasthan’s Barmer two weeks ahead of its normal schedule, but strangely has not yet arrived in the northern Indian plains, including Delhi. However truly underlying reason is different. Is not in global warming is the real culprit that is slowly raising the temperature of the planet and there is a need for time to acknowledge and find an amicable solution. The solution could change in human behavior itself. The solution could be a change in energy source—avoiding dependence on fossil fuels and enhance the usage of renewable energy. Or another promising solution is the usage of carbon capture utilization and storage.
What is carbon Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)
Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) is a set of evolving technologies that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at their source, preventing them from entering the atmosphere. At the same time, it can also work fairly well by absorbing CO2 emissions directly from the air. There are various methods to achieve carbon capture like capture, sequestration, utilization, mobile carbon capture, direct air capture, oxy-combustion, or natural process like nature itself.
Some recent development across the globe
According to the Global CCS Institute’s 2019 Status Report, 40 million metric tons of CO₂ from plants currently in operation or construction are captured and stored each year. Globally, in 2019, there were 51 large-scale CCS facilities in operation or under construction. The Global CCS Status Report shows that global capture and storage capacity has increased by 33% since 2019, and there are 65 commercial CCS facilities in various stages of development globally.
The plant, Scotland is proposing will remove the same amount of CO2 as around 40 million trees. It would become operational by 2026 and the captured greenhouse gases would be stored permanently under the seabed off the Scottish coast. The new project will be carried out between the UK firm Storeega and the Canadian company Carbon Engineering. It’s at a very early stage of development, with a long way to go — but if all goes ahead, it will be one of the biggest CCS plants in the world.
“Even if all the other measures that we’re taking to avoid emissions, electric cars, renewable energy, those types of things, even if those succeed, you still need carbon removal,” Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering, told the BBC. “A typical facility is about a million tonnes of CO2 removal per year. That’s the equivalent of 40 million trees.”
The CCS system that will be deployed involves a fan to suck in air, which is exposed to a liquid mixture that binds the carbon dioxide. The liquid is then turned into calcium carbonate pellets. When these are treated at a temperature of about 900ºC, the pellets decompose into a CO2 stream and calcium oxide. That stream of pure CO2 is cleaned up to remove water impurities. At that point, it can be pumped underground and buried permanently or sold for commercial use.