The return of greenhouse gas emissions to pre-pandemic levels has led to the intensification of projects aimed at capturing and treating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. New projects are designed to combat greenhouse gas emissions in the industries that are one of their main producers – in transport and energy. Scientists in the US and Europe are developing cars and trains that not only don’t emit CO2, they absorb it. And some energy companies are already building carbon capture facilities to minimize emissions from oil production.
Forestry car park
The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns and self-isolation have led to a temporary reduction greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. However, as the world economy emerges from covid restrictions, emissions have started to rise again. to grow up. According to the Climate Transparency Report, in the autumn of last year the level of harmful emissions of the G20 countries had become return at the pre-Docian level.
Not surprisingly, the growing emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, have again attracted increased attention not only from environmentalists and governmentsbut also scientists, researchers, inventors and investors. In autumn, researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) presented concept car ZEM (zero emission mobility – “zero emission mobility”). The car drives not only with zero CO2 emissions, but with negative. In other words, while driving, the car not only does not emit carbon dioxide thanks to the combination of solar panels and an electric motor, but also captures it from the atmosphere with the help of a special filter and accumulator. Every thousand kilometers it captures about seven tons of CO2.
The developers note that ten ZEM vehicles absorb about the same amount of carbon dioxide as one tree.
At first glance it’s not much, but already 1000 of these cars equals a small square, and if you equip other cars with CO2 capture systems, you can talk about real car parks or forests.
The Dutch researchers note that ZEM is not so much a prototype of a specific production model as a concept for introducing such an approach into future or existing models of not only electric vehicles, but also conventional cars. “Even if ordinary ICE cars are equipped with a trapping system of filters and accumulators, their carbon footprint will eventually be lower,” say the project authors, who are now obtaining a patent for their invention.
This summer in the USA presented a rail project with a negative carbon footprint. The startup CO2Rail Company, together with several American and Canadian universities, has developed the concept of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This system is installed on rail cars, it can also be installed on cars with conventional diesel locomotives, which ultimately reduces the carbon footprint of such a train.
For one year, a train made up of these wagons can collect up to 6 thousand tons of CO2.
According to the project authors, the cost of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in this way will be about $50 per tonne of CO2, which is significantly lower than current prices of already operational stationary plants, which go up to $600 per tonne. ton .
Experts do not rule out that trains equipped with such systems could also be more profitable than more traditional methods of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere: land-based fixed installations that require land and many permits and approvals for construction and infrastructure. “Many people want to fight global warming, but few want this fight to take place in their backyard,” she said in an interview. Forbes one of the co-authors of the project, University of Toronto professor Jeffrey Ozin: “Unlike stationary installations, trains with such cars will ride on ordinary railway tracks and will be simply invisible to the ordinary eye.”
The project authors note that 10 CO2Rail cars can capture the same amount of CO2 emitted by around 15,000 cars. “So carbon dioxide can be used for the needs of the chemical industry, for example for the production of polymers, synthetic fuels, refrigerants or for the production of carbonated drinks,” points out the CO2Rail Company. becomes more widespread, this will become an integral part of the carbon dioxide cycle in the economy and in the functioning of the corresponding market”.
Not just transport
In late September, Fortune Business Insights researchers released reportwhich states that the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry was already valued at $2 billion annually in 2020 and will reach $7 billion by 2028. of factors such as the growth of partnership projects between large industrial companies to commercialize CCS technologies, including through the construction of large companies of this type,” believe the authors of the report.
One of the largest such projects is joint complex The Northern Lights (“Northern Lights”) by British Shell, French Total, Norwegian Equinor and the Government of Norway. The project was approved in 2019 and is expected to start operating in 2024. The total investment was $2.6 billion. The system works like this: Carbon dioxide collected using a system of fans and filters will be stored in underground tanks . This carbon dioxide will then be used in chemical production or distributed in the sandstones approximately 2 km under the ocean floor.
“We want to bring the carbon back to where it has been stored for millions of years, leading to the formation of hydrocarbons, deep in the earth’s crust,” says Christel Lambton, technical director of The Northern Lights project.
In the first year of operation, the company must remove from the atmosphere and store up to 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, before reaching the design capacity of 5 million tons per year.
In 2021 in Iceland, 50 km from Reykjavik, it started working project local company Carbfix and Swiss company Climeworks. With the help of 72 powerful fans and a filter system, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere, then dissolved in sea water and pumped into the earth’s crust. “The solution passes through cracks and pores in basalt rocks, interacts with minerals and metals, and eventually turns to stone,” says Carbfix spokesman Olafur Gudjonsson. The enterprise itself uses for its work the thermal energy of warm underground sources, which Iceland is rich in.
Late October The Wall Street Journal reported That Occidental Petroleum oil company begins construction of a CO2 capture and storage facility in Texas. The enterprise is expected to be launched as early as 2024 and is capable of capturing 30 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year and storing up to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide in underground tanks. The company says it’s doing this to neutralize the entire carbon footprint of its oil operations throughout West Texas.
According to the international project Global CCS InstituteCurrently, there are already around 200 carbon capture and storage projects in the world under development or construction. For example, in July the European Commission announced €1.8 billion for 17 carbon capture and storage projects in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Poland. More than 150 companies from all over the world, such as General Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ArcelorMittal, BP, Chevron, Sinopec, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Eni, as well as governments of UK, USA, Japan, Australia, China, participate in the Global CCS Institute .