Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)
With society’s drive to align with the Paris climate agreement, business sector actions hold the key to tackling the global energy and climate crises. Through various approaches, such as efforts in energy transition, the energy industry is embedding the 3Ps (people, profit, and planet) into their operations with an eye toward sustainability practices. CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage) technology that aims to prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere will be an important way to cut emissions and slow down climate change.
WHAT IS CCUS?
CCUS is a technology that can effectively capture and utilize the high concentrations of CO2 emitted by organizations' manufacturing operations. The technology process involves three main stages: carbon "capture"—the removal of emissions directly from the air or before they are released into the atmosphere in the first place. Next, the "storage" stages allow the carbon to be compressed and stored deep underground for further processing. Lastly, for the "utilization" of carbon, for instance, captured carbon can be combined with clean hydrogen to produce climate-neutral methane or methanol.
THE GROWING MOMENTUM V. CHALLENGES OF CCUS
Globally, new CCUS facilities are in the planning stages or are currently under development. More than ten projects in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia could contribute to a total capture capacity of approximately 15 metric tons (Mt) of CO2 per year by 2030 in Southeast Asia. Or in North America and Canada, where more than a hundred CCUS initiatives contribute to an enormous capture capacity. To satisfy the goals of the Paris Agreement, however, four gigatonnes of CO2 must be captured by 2050. For this reason, project developers have announced plans to have more than 200 new capture facilities operational by 2030, capturing more than 220 Mt of CO2 annually.
THE WAY AHEAD FOR CCUS
To convert the momentum into action, policymakers must carry out additional policy support while ensuring appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks. In the United States, for example, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 and funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Job Act are expected to incentivize increased CCUS deployment. In addition, developing CO2 transport and storage networks for industrial CCUS hubs can reduce unit costs through economies of scale and encourage investment in CO2 capture facilities.
CCUS is a collection of technologies capable of accomplishing large-scale carbon dioxide emission reductions in a variety of industries. The function of CCUSs must be regarded as one of the primary pillars of sustainable production, along with ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency and an increased reliance on renewable resources.
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