Carbon capture is a process whereby polluting industries that use fossil fuel can utilize any number of carbon capture and sequestration programs to reverse climate change.
A tradable exchange has been created in several countries for pollution companies that wish to lower taxes and alleviate environmental fines. Carbon Credits are traded much like stocks on major indices worldwide.
Fossil Fuel & Climate Change
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a means of mitigating the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global climate change, based on capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants, and store it away from atmosphere by different means including sequestration. Carbon is an element present in Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which exists molecularly as one part carbon and two parts oxygen. Although natural CO2 emissions are necessary to sustain a temperature suitable for life on Earth, an excess of man made emissions can be harmful to the environment and contribute to global climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution, CO2 has been rising steadily to the point where levels have reached those of the period that triggered the last ice age.
Carbon Capture Programs
Many countries are implementing carbon capture programs to combat climate change through the sequestration of carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere.
In the United States, The Department of Energy (DOE) has created a step-change program to encourage fossil fuel companies to mitigate carbon emissions to lower both cost and potential energy penalties. The Carbon Capture Program targets two specific areas of the carbon emission sector: Pre Combustion Capture and Post Combustion Capture.
Pre Combustion Carbon Capture
Pre combustion capture involves gas power plants, specifically the integrated gasification combined cycle where steam and oxygen are utilized to convert solid fuel into syngas used in the generation of electricity. Step change occurs when carbon is captured before combustion and power production occurs.
Post Combustion Carbon Capture
Post combustion capture involves coal fired power plants, where brown coal is burned to heat water to create steam to drive a turbine to produce electrical power. Carbon is typically captured in the flue after combustion.
Carbon sequestration involves two ways to capture carbon; biological and non-biological.
Biological carbon capture methods include the use of trees to naturally sequester carbon elements in wood fiber collected from the air.
Non-biological carbon capture methods include mechanical storage in deep geological formations, in deep ocean masses, or in the form of mineral carbonates.