In recent years, the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry gained significant attention and momentum on the global stage to play a key role in the solution to combat climate change. Just like any emerging technology that has claims to support the global effort to reach Net Zero by 2050, CCS has not been without potential scepticism and misconceptions.
Recently, the Financial Times, in partnership with Equinor, put together an in-depth article that provides a better understanding the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry. They assessed three common misconceptions that have arisen within the CCS industry: its safety, cost, and long-term effectiveness. Here we take another look at these misconceptions in relation to the KC8 technology.
Misconception One: The Environmental Risk of CCS
Historical carbon capture technology has been used commercially for more than 40 years. Over this period, there has been several scientific studied and evidence that confirms storing large volumes of CO2 underground is a viable solution, that also occurs naturally, with exceptionally minimal risk to the environment.
According to the Financial Times, “research suggests that over 98 per cent of CO2 injected into well-regulated storage in regions with moderate well densities will be retained in the subsurface for over 10,000 years”.
The team behind the KC8 carbon capture technology have spent over 20 years learning from previous, and sometimes superseded technologies within the CCS industry. KC8 has a patented suite of capture processes utilising potassium carbonate solvents.
This is derived from a naturally occurring material that is readily available in all countries around the world. Potassium carbonate is an inorganic compound that has been used for many years in the following industries Glass Production, Detergents/Soaps, Fertiliser, Pharmaceuticals, Food processing, Gas Treatment, Agricultural Chemicals and Food Additives, among others. With the correct handling procedures, it is completely safe to use and has no impact on the environment.
Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) has been used in solvent absorption processes in chemical industries for many years. Our CCS process provides a unique update to current technology, making it highly efficient for CO2 capture at low pressure.
Misconception Two: CCS is Too Expensive
A major misconception about CCS is that it is too expensive to build-up to scale. Like with other recent technologies within this space, there is substantial investment required, from government bodies and major industries, to ensure economies of scale will lower costs significantly.
This can be seen in renewable energies, which has received varying degree of global support for several years. As the industry continues to mature and adoption rates increase, the costs associated with the industry are expected to further decline, making it a viable and affordable solution, which can play a key role in global emissions reduction targets.
The UNO MK3 technology is being developed at a lower cost and lower environmental impact than other carbon capture processes that are currently being developed. Our technology has substantial economic benefits compared to current industry standards such as MEA and state-of-the-art amines.
The significant reduction in cost of the UNO MK 3 potassium carbonate process is achieved through incorporating the following features:
- Heat integration
- Enhanced rate promotion
- Proprietary contactor design
- Smaller regeneration circuit and alternative reboiler designs for the system
- Lower solvent costs
- Lower solvent replacement requirements
- Elimination of SOx and NOx removal equipment prior to the capture system
Our team also expect that further cost reductions can be achieved from:
- Production of valuable byproducts for fertiliser industry
- Coproduction of alternative chemical products such as chlorine and hydrogen.
- Flexible capture with stockpiling of the bicarbonate salts
Misconception Three: CCS is only a temporary fix to the global climate crisis
The negative impact of the global climate is something that we will be dealing with for generations to come. The technology being developed for CCS has been shown to provide a long-term solution to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it safely. Unlike other climate change solutions, CCS can remove substantial amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, making it a viable long-term solution.
CCS plays a vital role in reducing emissions during the transition to a low-carbon economy. It complements renewable energy sources by capturing emissions from industrial sectors that are challenging to decarbonise fully. While CCS should be seen as part of a comprehensive global climate mitigation strategy, it is a crucial tool for reducing emissions.
The Future of Carbon Capture and Storage
The net-zero future that the world is currently working towards will take a collective and comprehensive approach from all over the world. Just like with other innovative technology, the carbon capture industry is not without its challenges, but it is important to separate misconceptions from reality.
The industry itself is constantly evolving and making considerable advancements. KC8 are working to commercialise our own CCS technology that we envision will provide a low cost and low environmental impact to the future of the industry. Learn more about our technology or sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates.