Stakeholders are exploring new ways to tackle the effects of Climate Change with a technology that converts carbon into useful everyday products.
What’s the technology?
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had noted for a while that Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a potentially effective way to mitigate climate change. A technology that has existed for about five decades, CCS traps CO2 from smokestacks or ambient air and pumps it underground for permanent sequestration. There are currently 27 CCS facilities operating around the world, 12 of which are in the United States.
How much impact does the procedure have on carbon control?
Through these facilities, an estimated 36 million tons of carbon is stored per year, according to the Global CCS Institute. And for the first time, the IPCC added carbon capture and utilization (CCU) to its list of possible measures for reducing atmospheric carbon. Following the IPCC’s lead, stakeholders are now looking beyond the storage and exploring ways to turn the stored carbon into useful products, which could happen on a commercial scale soon.
The U.S is intensifying work on it, with the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which provides $3.5b in funding for 4 additional direct capture facilities. Through CCU, captured CO2 is incorporated into carbon-containing products like cement, jet fuel, and the raw materials used in making plastics. Though still in the early stages of development and commercialization, CCU could help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20 billion tons in 2050 – more than half of the world’s current global emissions.