Your monthly briefing on the journey to fossil freedom
Issue #11, Storing and using captured carbon, March 2024
Storing and using carbon – why it matters for the transition
What to know: Cutting emissions is, and will remain, the primary method of decreasing CO2 in the atmosphere. However, in recent years, tests with carbon capture, storing, and utilising the captured carbon, CCUS, have also shown promise. Will CCUS be an alternative or a complement to reducing emissions?
Why it matters: CCUS is included in most scenarios that forecast net-zero targets. CCUS could also be used in sectors that have to date found it difficult to reduce emissions, such as construction and mining.
5 unexpected uses of captured CO₂
Carbon dioxide does not only present challenges, it also offers opportunities. Carbon is essential for nearly all products that we consume. Examples include how CO2 can be used to produce eatable protein, cultured meat, and polymers used for packaging and construction materials.
Where CO₂ has been stored in the seabed since 1996
As the debate over carbon capture and storage rages on around the world, Norway has been quietly storing carbon deep below the floor of the North Sea since 1996. Carbon is extracted from the gas and injected more than 800 metres below the seabed.
The potential of direct air capture
Direct Air Capture (DAC) extracts CO2 directly from the atmosphere and can then be stored or used. There are seven DAC plants worldwide currently in operation, and while their overall extraction rate is a relatively modest 0.01 million tonnes (Mt) CO2/year, it is hoped that this will increase to more than 70 Mt by 2030 as more plants are built and come on line. Approximately 130 DAC plants are in various stages of development. Source: IEA
Vattenfall takes major step towards negative emissions
Vattenfall is advancing towards negative emissions by planning a facility in Jordbro, Stockholm, to capture 150,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from a biomass-fuelled heat plant. Robert Mattsson, the plant’s project manager, thinks that the project’s biggest challenge is to create the chain from facility to final repository.
3 x quick updates from the energy world
Less is still more in heat pump sales
Despite a drop in sales last year, heat pumps outsold gas furnaces in the US for the second consecutive year, leading to an increase in overall market share, reports The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. (AHRI)
Fusion reactor went out with a bang
Europe’s largest fusion reactor, Torus in the UK, generated 69 megajoules of energy in a 5.2-second burst, consuming only 0.2 milligrams of fuel, before it was decommissioned at the end of last year. (science.org)
Carbon management's key role to reach net-zero
The EU Commission has adopted a plan for industrial carbon management which provides details on how capturing, storing and utilising carbon dioxide could contribute to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. (ec.europa.eu)
And finally …
Powerful forests of the future
French company New World Wind, has developed wind turbines that resemble trees, with a metal “trunk” and microturbines as leaves. The tree turbines, standing just five to ten metres high, come in various colours, and are “compact, silent, and minimise the risk for bird strikes”, so they can be used in urban areas such as parks or squares. (thecooldown.com)