Climate Change Mitigation: The Contribution of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)
11 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2022
Date Written: November 26, 2022
Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) is a broad term that covers processes that capture CO2 from flue and process gases or directly from the air and convert it into a variety of products such as renewable electricity-based fuels, chemicals, and materials. No precise estimate of the potential mitigation role of CCU technologies exists to date, because of uncertainties in renewable electricity cost scenarios and the low granularity of models that simulate different CCU options.
However, CCU technologies have the potential to play a significant role in the mitigation of climate change as described, in the latest report of the Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change1. Many of the technologies are already mature enough to be deployed and have the potential to reduce net CO2 emissions in gigatons equivalence CO2 emissions. Unlike other options, CCU technologies provide drop-in fuel solutions which can be introduced in existing markets without significant modifications to powertrain production, distribution and infrastructures. CCU technologies have potential to provide solutions to hard-to-abate sectors and to generate revenues through the producion of marketable products. Moreover, CCU can help achieve an energy sovereignty and a reduced depedency on fossil fuels-based energy. Nevertheless, the slow deployment of CCU results from the low availability of renewable energy, the lack of market incentives and the absence of a favourable regulatory framework. The present work discusses the climate mitigation potential of CCU, including opportunities and limitations of CCU technologies from CO2 mineralisation to power-to-X applications.
Keywords: Carbon Capture and Utilisation, CCU, Renewable fuels, e-fuels, climate change mitigation, CO2 valorisation, Life Cycle Assessment, decarbonisation, defossilisation, power-to-X, mineralisation, carbonation
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