The global drive to combat climate change has placed carbon capture technologies at the forefront of environmental discussions. As industries seek to reduce carbon footprints, these technologies are advancing. This article explores the varied techniques that make up the world of carbon capture.

Post-Combustion Capture

Among the most widely researched and implemented techniques, post-combustion capture focuses on isolating carbon dioxide (CO2) after fossil fuels have been burned.

The process usually involves passing the resultant flue gas through solvents that bind to CO2. Once separated, the CO2 is then compressed and prepared for storage or utilization, while the cleaned gas is released into the atmosphere.

Pre-Combustion Capture

In contrast to its post-combustion counterpart, pre-combustion capture addresses carbon emissions before the actual burning of fossil fuels. This method involves converting fuel into a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. 

Following this, a reaction with steam transforms the carbon monoxide into CO2, which is then captured using physical or chemical solvents, leaving behind hydrogen gas. This hydrogen can be used as a cleaner fuel source, while the captured CO2 is stored or repurposed.

Oxy-Fuel Combustion

This technology modifies the combustion process itself. Instead of air, which is primarily nitrogen with oxygen, oxy-fuel combustion uses pure oxygen for combustion. 

The result is a flue gas primarily composed of water vapor and CO2. After cooling and condensing the water vapor, a concentrated stream of CO2 is left behind for capture and subsequent storage.

Direct Air Capture

Moving beyond industrial settings, direct air capture (DAC) offers a broader approach. As the name suggests, this technology captures CO2 directly from ambient air. Large fans draw air through filters or solutions that selectively bind to CO2. Once these are saturated, CO2 is released, captured, and prepared for storage. 

Given its ability to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, DAC has gained attention as a potential tool for reversing historical emissions.

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage 

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) combines biomass energy production with carbon capture methods. When plants grow, they naturally absorb CO2 from the air. 

By using these plants as fuel sources and then capturing and storing the emitted CO2, BECCS not only produces energy but can result in a net reduction of CO2 from the atmosphere. This concept of negative emissions makes BECCS a particularly intriguing option for long-term climate strategies.

Enhanced Weathering

While not a capture technology in the traditional sense, enhanced weathering accelerates natural processes to lock away CO2. Certain minerals, when pulverized and spread over large areas like farmlands, react with CO2 in the atmosphere and turn it into stable carbonate minerals, effectively sequestering the carbon.

To learn more about CO2 capture technology, contact a local service provider.