Most carbon capture & utilization technologies may be counterproductive: Study

What is the News?

According to a study, most Carbon Capture and Utilization(CCU) technologies that suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and convert it into fuel or other valuable products, might fail to help the world reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.

What are Carbon Capture and Utilization(CCU) technologies?

CCU technologies either capture carbon dioxide directly from the air or absorb it from polluting sources. The technologies then use the captured carbon dioxide in processes such as making fuel, plastics and concrete. 

Contrary to straightforward carbon capture technology, CCU does not store the carbon dioxide for long periods but converts it into fuels or uses it to drive other industrial processes such as oil extraction or growing plants.

What does the study say about CCU Technologies?

Most CCU technologies might fail to help the world reach Net Zero emissions by 2050. This is because the majority of these systems are energy-intensive and the resultant product can also release CO2 into the atmosphere.

Hence, the countries should narrow down on the handful of technologies that show more promise and channel investment in them. 

For example, CCU technologies that capture carbon dioxide from biogenic sources such as plants and soil to boost crop growth in a greenhouse could work.

India and CCU Technologies

The Indian government has announced that it would establish two Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) centers.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC) has signed an MoU with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by injecting CO2 captured from IOCL’s Koyali refinery, Gujarat.

However, experts have said that India should concentrate on replacing cement with carbonated slag construction blocks. This could be a game-changer.

Source: This post is based on the article Most carbon capture & utilization technologies may be counterproductive: Studypublished in Down To Earth on 26th February 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF