AIChE Journal Highlight: Developing Transformational Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies

January
,
2016

Carbon dioxide emissions pose a significant global threat. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), atmospheric concentrations of CO2-equivalent must be limited to 450 ppm by 2100 to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. One approach to reducing CO2 emissions is to couple carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology with fossil energy systems. Other approaches include increasing energy efficiency and the use of nuclear, wind, solar, and bioenergy. The IPCC evaluated many potential scenarios with various combinations of these approaches and found that when used together, they could limit global warming to 2°C. However, without CCS, fewer than half of the scenarios were successful, and those that were successful were 138% more expensive on average. Thus, CCS is critical to limiting atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a cost-effective manner.

“The immediate, direct costs associated with CCS have been a barrier to wide-scale deployment of the technology,” David Miller of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, et al., say in the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Towards Transformational Carbon Capture Systems.”

“While new carbon capture technologies...

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