Given the significant concerns centering around the CO2 emissions worldwide, it is not surprising that folks are considering all possible ways to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere.
One obvious way is of course to reduce the emissions themselves. This reduction is being tried out through significant changes to the way we use energy – shifting to renewable energy sources, implementing energy efficiency mechanisms etc.
Now, the above changes could take a while.
In the meantime, gobs of CO2 are being released into the atmosphere every day.
So the big guys have started saying: Do some goddamn thing about the CO2 being released.
So, one of the goddamn things being tried out to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is to capture the CO2 being released – especially from large, concentrated sources such as thermal power plants. (these alone release close to 30% of all the CO2 released)
A number of avenues to capture and store are being attempted.
The capture stage is itself a fairly intricate step, and storing the captured CO2 represents another challenging domain.
- Capturing CO2 is being tried out through chemical and mechanical means.
- Storing the captured CO2 is being attempted through means such as:
- Storing it in special underground vaults
- Storing it under the oceans (yeah, under the sea)
- Storing it as limestone (CO2 can be converted to CaCO3, which is – limestone)
- Converting CO2 into useful products such as biofuels and thus actually recycling it (sounds like a cool idea, but actually a fairly expensive one)
As of 2016, while there have been significant efforts being undertaken both for capture and storage, it is not entirely clear whether we have been able to come up technically and economically feasible ways to do either.
In the last few years, I have been observing that some really large companies such as GE, Alstom, Areva and others have been developing technologies for carbon capture. With such big guns strutting around, it is quite possible that we will see some robust solution emerge soon for this critical domain.