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The outlook for improved carbon capture technology

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is widely seen as a critical technology for reducing atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2) from power plants and other large industrial facilities, which are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions linked to global climate change. However, the high cost and energy requirements of current CO 2 capture processes are major barriers to their use. This paper assesses the outlook for improved, lower-cost technologies for each of the three major approaches to CO 2 capture, namely, post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxy-combustion capture. The advantages and limitations of each of method are discussed, along with the current status of projects and processes at various stages in the development cycle. We then review a variety of "roadmaps" developed by governmental and private-sector organizations to project the commercial roll-out and deployment of advanced capture technologies. For perspective, we also review recent experience with R&D programs to develop lower-cost technologies for SO 2 and NO x capture at coal-fired power plants. For perspective on projected cost reductions for CO 2 capture we further review past experience in cost trends for SO 2 and NO x capture systems. The key insight for improved carbon capture technology is that achieving significant cost reductions will require not only a vigorous and sustained level of research and development (R&D), but also a substantial level of commercial deployment, which, in turn, requires a significant market for CO 2 capture technologies. At present such a market does not yet exist. While various incentive programs can accelerate the development and deployment of improved CO 2 capture systems, government actions that significantly limit CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere ultimately are needed to realize substantial and sustained reductions in the future cost of CO 2 capture. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Rubin, E. S., Mantripragada, H., Marks, A., Versteeg, P., & Kitchin, J. (2012, October). The outlook for improved carbon capture technology. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.

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