Home Science Is CCUS the answer to climate change or just another excuse?

Is CCUS the answer to climate change or just another excuse?

planta de captura de carbono ccus

The use of CCUS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technologies is considered promising in the fight against climate change. However, some activists have raised concerns about the impact. While some experts believe CCUS is an effective solution, others argue that it could be used as an excuse to allow manufacturers to continue producing high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

What is CCUS and how does it work?

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) is a process whereby carbon dioxide, mainly from industrial and commercial sources, is collected with the aim of making it usable or storing it underground. Rather than simply offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, a more effective alternative would be to reduce the total amount that humans produce.

The CCUS (Carbon Dioxide Capture, Use and Storage) process starts with capturing the CO2 generated in a facility. This CO2 is then compressed into a liquid for easy transport. Once shipped, it can be used to make other products or stored underground safely and efficiently. For each step, they use different methods, including filters and chimneys.

It is true that many commercial and industrial manufacturers pay to “zero” their emissions, meaning they continue to produce them without direct consequences. However, it is important to note that compensation systems can also make a significant contribution to climate change. If you burn a piece of paper and replace it with a new one, you may think the problem is solved. However, you still have a lot of ash left to deal with.

CCUS (Carbon Capture and Storage) is characterized by its direct focus on reducing carbon emissions. By capturing these emissions, you prevent their release into the atmosphere, thereby helping to slow down climate change. In addition, the methods of storing and using the captured carbon offer practical and effective solutions to address real-world problems related to climate change.

What are the benefits of CCUS?

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) offers many notable advantages. Above all, it helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Tackling the greenhouse gas emissions produced is of unparalleled importance as they are the main cause of climate change. By directly recording these emissions, we have the opportunity to have a significantly positive impact on the environment.

CCUS’ reuse of carbon dioxide not only helps protect the environment, but also helps make products more sustainable, including those derived from fossil fuels. Manufacturers’ ability to create fuels, plastics and various other products has led to a multitude of unsustainable choices that are constantly being improved.

According to experts, geologically stored carbon dioxide can remain in place for more than 1,000 years, providing an effective solution to reducing the impact of climate change. By being stored in safe places, this gas does not contribute to climate change and stays there for a long time.

What are the disadvantages of CCUS?

Although CCUS offers certain advantages, it also has significant disadvantages that we need to be aware of. On the one hand, there is a risk of misallocating resources that could harm other priority areas. Additionally, minimizing issues and operational complexity can negatively impact efficient implementation. On the other hand, it is important to note that despite initial promises, the actual carbon reduction impact of CCUS may be less than expected.

Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) projects are capable of capturing between 10% and 15% of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. These emissions include both those that come directly from operations and those that result indirectly from energy use. Proponents of these projects claim that this tracking allows them to be considered carbon neutral. However, the truth is more complex as Scope 3 is not taken into account.

Scope 3 emissions refer to indirect emissions arising from the processing, transportation or use of products that emit greenhouse gases. For oil and gas, these industries are responsible for up to 90% of carbon emissions. Therefore, it would be a clear exaggeration to claim that CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) projects are carbon neutral. It is important to realize that while these projects can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing emissions, they do not completely eliminate the carbon footprint associated with the oil and gas sector.

In addition, CCUS (Carbon Capture and Storage) can lead to misallocation of natural resources. It has been shown that CO2 capture and storage requires almost twice as much water compared to current human needs to meet the target set by the European Union to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5° Celsius. This is a worrying issue considering how climate change is leading to water scarcity.

Does carbon capture, use and storage really work?

Throughout history, CCUS (Carbon Capture and Storage) projects have had little success in achieving their anticipated goals. Although the process is simple in theory, it is expensive to implement and quite complex to maintain.

A study conducted by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis analyzed the most relevant CCUS (Carbon Capture, Use and Storage) projects. These projects together represent more than 50% of the world’s carbon capture and storage capacity. However, only three of them managed to achieve acceptable overall performance. Of the 13 subjects tested, three had no success at all, five had less than 50% lifetime returns, and two never published their data.

In today’s business world, we find many promising start-ups that receive widespread support. A good example of a CCUS project is one that managed to capture 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year for a factory in Norway. In addition, it is planned to transport and store an additional 430,000 tons each year from two Norwegian power plants from May 2023.

CCUS, which stands for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, is a technology that makes carbon capture and storage relatively easy. However, its effectiveness in reducing climate impact is still controversial. Although this technology has great potential, in practice it can often lead to more emissions.

Is CCUS just another excuse?

Although viewed by some as merely an excuse to appease climate advocates, CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage) is actually a promising method. In fact, many experts agree that the only way the world can achieve its sustainability goals is by capturing, using and storing carbon.

In 2022, the EU Energy Commissioner pointed out that the European Union can only achieve its climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius through carbon capture and storage (CCUS) technology. According to him, it is estimated that up to 640 million tons of carbon dioxide will have to be stored by 2050.

While it may seem unrealistic due to its downsides, even the most prominent activists and leaders recognize the importance of tackling climate change. In addition, this measure brings with it numerous advantages that have significant positive effects.

Is CCUS the answer to climate change?

With increased monitoring and enforcement, carbon capture and storage (CCUS) could be the solution to the climate change challenge. Poor reporting and resource allocation are common issues that negatively impact operations. However, it is important to note that these aspects are typically not material to the business. It’s good to see that significant improvements can be expected in this regard as more and more people invest in related solutions, such as fighting climate change.

While offsetting and reducing emissions are important, they only slow the progress of climate change rather than stopping it altogether. This is where Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) technology comes in and offers a real opportunity for a long-term solution. While this may not be the ideal answer, it is considered one of the best options available today.

It is important to reflect on the importance of this issue: humanity would have the opportunity to eliminate the root cause of climate change. CCUS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technology already exists and could have a significant impact in the fight against climate change.

Carbon capture, use and storage is the future

In general, the challenges associated with the use of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) are due to poor implementation rather than the method itself. In fact, when done properly, the CCUS is reliable, safe, and effective. If we are to overcome climate change and move towards a sustainable future, humanity should take full advantage of this technology.

With information from greenerideal.com

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