Carbon capture refers to the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large-scale industrial processes or power generation, and then storing them underground or utilizing them for other purposes. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, without negatively impacting energy production and industrial activities.
There are several methods of carbon capture, including post-combustion, pre-combustion, and oxyfuel combustion. In post-combustion capture, CO2 is captured from the exhaust gases after the fuel is burned. Pre-combustion capture involves capturing CO2 before the fuel is burned, through processes such as gasification. Oxyfuel combustion involves burning the fuel in an oxygen-rich environment, resulting in a more concentrated stream of CO2 that is easier to capture.
Once captured, the CO2 is transported via pipelines or other means to a storage site, where it is injected deep underground into rock formations. This process is known as carbon sequestration. Alternatively, the captured CO2 can be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which involves injecting materials into the reservoir, such as gas or fluids, to help push oil towards production wells. EOR can be used to extract oil that is difficult to reach using traditional drilling methods or to extract more oil from depleted wells. Injecting captured CO2 into oil reservoirs can significantly help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil extraction. Other potential uses for captured CO2 include producing chemicals, fuels, and building materials.
Carbon capture technology is currently being developed and implemented on a large scale in various industries, including power generation, cement production, and steel manufacturing. While carbon capture has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it also faces challenges such as high costs, technical feasibility, and public acceptance. Despite these challenges, carbon capture is an important tool in mitigating climate change and achieving a more sustainable future.