Carbon dioxide capture, an asset to our climate goals

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[EN VIDÉO] COP25: Concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over 15 years
Using data collected from Earth and from space, NASA has compiled the increase in carbon dioxide concentration and its global distribution over a fifteen-year period. At the end of the measurements in 2015, the maximum was 402 ppm; Today we are at 418 ppm.

” The carbon dioxide storage2, it is good. Sobriety is better. » This is what Pierre Toluhat, retired from his position as scientific director of the Office of Geological and Mineral Research, told us (BRGM) and a member of the Academy of Technologies, for more than a year. He also deciphered the challenges of what experts call CCS – to catch and geological storage carbon.

Specifically addressed the storage stage. his specialty. Today, it’s Florence Delbrat Janod, CSC Program Chair atPFI New Energies (IFPEN), which confirms this. “Carbon capture and storage technologies should in no way distract from the essentials: efficiency and sobriety.” With it, we will deal more specifically with the issue of carbon dioxide (CO .) capture2). its specialty.

why ? Firstly because at the beginning of 2022, the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the development of climate IPCC has re-launched the urgent need to deploy these technologies. Declaring that we are no longer in a position to do without her, if we still hope Reducing global warming at 1.5°C. Then because some tech giants have just launched the Frontier Initiative, a market guarantee aimed at accelerating the development of carbon capture technologies by ensuring future demand for them.

“There are already technologies that work well.”, Florence Delbrat-Ganod assures us. She mainly wants to talk about solutions that capture CO22 in factory fumes. Those heavy industries, which currently do not have alternative technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

CO2 Capture Technologies2 already exists

Capturing “post-combustion” fumes consists of recovering carbon dioxide2 By washing these fumes with solvent », explains the head of the CCS program at IFPEN. These technologies have been used for a long time to treat gas fossil It has been adapted to capture carbon dioxide2 industrial fumes. The problem is that it is expensive and consumes a lot of energy. But the project “Three-dimensional” that just entered its stage demonstrator Industrial “ can change that. It helps to remove carbon from industries High emitters of carbon dioxide2. Thanks to the solvent chosen for its efficiency and competitivenessSustainability and the energy savings it should make possible. The first industrial unit can be operated at a production site Solid for AcelorMittal, in Dunkirk, from 2025. Aiming to capture more than 1 million tons of CO22 every year.

Other solutions for carbon dioxide capture2 Existing systems, one can cite pre-combustion capture. The idea is to produce a file irritable from carbon. The idea is applicable only to a few industries. “It should be looked at in time ConstructionFrom the factory “, explains Florence Delbrat-Ganod. carbon dioxide capture2 This can also be done by oxy fuel . To increase the concentration of carbon dioxide2 In the fumes and thus facilitating their capture, we carry outcombustionIn pure oxygen and no longer in it air. But again, producing pure oxygen is expensive. »

“We are also working on more innovative processes, such as chemical annular combustion. It could reach the market by 2028.”, explains Florence Delbrat-Ganod. On the other hand, theCO2 Capture Technologies2 directly in atmosphere , they are not widely prepared. From concentrations of about 10% – and that’s really low – we go to concentrations of about 0.04% – and that’s very little, even if it’s still very far from the point of view of the greenhouse effect. This makes the capture process more accurate. However, about fifteen projects have been launched around the world. “But grabbing carbon dioxide2 Up in the air is not economically viable at all today. »

Costs are still high, but just waiting to drop

this to say? “Capture of carbon monoxide2 In factory fumes, it now costs between 50 and 180 euros per ton, depending on the situation. The capture stage accounts for 50-70% of this amount. Compress and transfer at 10% each. The rest goes to storage.explains Florence Delbrat-Ganod. “But for direct capture into the atmosphere, that is something else entirely. We are talking about costs between 300 and 800 euros per ton of CO2.2 pick up. »

Costs that should generally come down at Sizes Treatment will increase. As technologies evolve, too. According to IFPEN’s CCS Program Director, “There is not a minute to be wasted. We must work to develop different capture solutions. In parallel, we must also study the possibilities of storing this CO22. »

Because there is a doubt about it? “There is no doubt about the extent of the possibilities of underground storage. In Europe, the capacity is 500 gigatons, which is the equivalent of a hundred years of emissions – on the basis of emissionsfrom 2019 », Florence Delbrat Janod tells us. But each of the potential tanks would have to go through a fairly careful characterization stage before they could be used, in order to know exactly what volume they could receive. or to check outStamp. To develop long-term monitoring techniques. For the old tanks hydrocarbons It takes a few years. but for saline aquifers Which has not yet been explored by the oil industry, it takes about ten years. »

Therefore, what needs to be remembered is that if research is still to be done, there are already technologies for CO2 capture2 A mature product that can help us decarbonize the industry above all else. By 2070, the International Energy Agency estimates that CCS will offset the emission of 9.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide2. Enough to contribute 15% of the effort needed to save our climate. but for that, “We must act today. Implement CCS solutions in heavy industry, in particular. And start reducing what experts call incompressible emissions.Reducing greenhouse gas emissionswhich must, moreover, continue”concludes for us Florence Delbrat Janod.

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