Carbon capture involves trapping the carbon dioxide at its emission source and isolating it. This means we could potentially grab excess CO2 right from the power plant, creating greener energy.
Carbon capture has actually been in use for years. The oil and gas industries have used carbon capture for decades as a way to enhance oil and gas recovery. Only recently have we started thinking about capturing carbon for environmental reasons. Currently, most research focuses on carbon capture at fossil fuel-powered energy plants, the source of the majority of man-made CO2 emissions. Many of these power plants rely on coal to create energy, and the burning of coal emits CO2 into the atmosphere. Some researchers envision a future where all new power plants employ carbon capture.
Capturing CO2 might be applied to large point sources, such as large fossil fuel or biomass energy facilities, industries with major CO2 emissions, natural gas processing, synthetic fuel plants and fossil fuel-based hydrogen production plants. Concentrated CO2 from the combustion of coal in oxygen is relatively pure, and could be directly processed.
Currently, carbon capture accounts for about 60-70% of the costs of carbon capture and sequestration. Many different solvents and sorbents are being developed to bring down the cost of carbon capture. A good solvent/scrubber should have desirable properties like low energy requirement, low cost, high CO2 capture percentage, high degree of reusability etc.
The combustion of coal leads to the emission of NOx and SOx in addition to CO2. The flue gases from powerplants contain a mixture of these gases. CO2 needs to be seperated from these gases before storing. CO2 can be captured by the three conventional methods – precombustion, postcombustion and OxyFuel method. These methods are explained in this section. In addition to these capture methods, there are also many novel, unconventional methods being researched and implemented at the pilot plant stage. These methods are discussed under the future methodologies section.Conventional Methods Future CCS Technologies