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The rise of the carbon capture industry

An example of "scanning technologies" and climate change mitigation opportunities

It is generally accepted that climate change, in addition to its adverse impacts on ecosystems, human society and activity, can be a driver of change. Climate change actions highlight opportunities related, amongst other things, to saving resources and developing new technologies that are more environmentally and climate friendly.

Technology scanning is the process of regularly monitoring and reviewing developments in the technological landscape. This process is a data-driven market analysis and gives a company the advantage of early market positioning by identifying emerging opportunities in a thorough manner.

Regarding opportunities and technologies to address climate change, one of the Principles underlying the Global Climate Change Strategy is Mitigation, i.e. actions and measures to eliminate greenhouse gases at their sources or enhance their capture from the atmosphere and their storage (e.g. oceans, forests, soil).

Today we have a plethora of technologies and methods at our disposal that aim to reduce/eliminate the concentration of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and thus achieve climate targets.

Today we have at our disposal a plethora of technologies and methods, that have moved from the research stage to practical applications, which aim to reduce/eliminate the concentration of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, thus achieving the climate goals (limiting global warming to 1.5C).

The following is an example of a 'scan' of available technologies for removing carbon from the atmosphere.

The rise of investment in Carbon Capture Technologies

The market for carbon capture is expanding rapidly and private capital is flowing in from technology companies seeking to help early-stage carbon capture and storage start-ups to expand and reduce their costs.

Examples of carbon capture technologies in use.

The most common methods currently used for carbon capture are:

1. Direct air capture using giant fans, which in combination with complex chemical processes or filters, removes CO2 from the air. But until recently, there was no incentive to simply bury this carbon, so they had to sell it to various markets. The captured CO2 is sold to greenhouses where it is used to grow vegetables, and to beverage companies who use it to make carbonated beverages.

2. The dissolution of the captured carbon in water and its injection into basalt formations. CO2 is injected into these rocks and then mineralised. This literally means that the CO2, within two years of being introduced, is turned into rock. Thus, it solidifies a kilometre below the ground and is thus absolutely, permanently stored for the next hundreds of millions of years.

3. The use of biomass (crop residues such as stems, stalks and leaves from farms), which has already captured carbon from the atmosphere and is then converted into bio-oil, which is stored underground. The process of converting biomass into bio-oil is called pyrolysis or fast pyrolysis. And it is the process in which the biomass is first grinded into very small pieces, so that by passing heat through it (from room temperature to 500 degrees Celsius for less than a few seconds), the cellulose and biomass is evaporated and then re-condensed into a liquid, bio-oil, which goes deep into the subsoil where it solidifies.

4. The injection of carbon dioxide into concrete mixes, which permanently store CO2 and have the added benefit of making the concrete stronger. The CO2 is injected into the concrete and reacts with the cement as it is mixed. A chemical reaction takes place where the calcium reacts with the CO2 to form an inorganic carbonate, thus increasing the strength of the concrete. This increased strength means that concrete producers can use less cement in their mixes, which helps to make the industrial process greener.

Technical approaches to permanent carbon removal vary widely. But regardless of the methodology, some subset of these technologies will likely need to be rapidly scaled up to keep global warming below 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius in the coming years.

According to expert scientists from the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley, the world needs about 50,000 carbon capture plants by 2050, which would cost about $10 trillion.

Ε-ΟΝ's position

At E-ON INTEGRATION, we are closely tracking developments and our goal is to accurately quantify all issues, such as risks, opportunities and metrics, arising from the energy and climate crisis.

As part of our work we "scan" the available technologies, assess the economic impact of the risks/opportunities and provide a clear description of the resilience of the business model and strategy of the stakeholder based on the climate scenarios.

Our whole methodology is fully based on an IT tool, "Climate Change Risk Assessment", which among other things uses data from external databases, . 


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