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Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA

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Discover the latest advances carbon capture and storage research

Technical Report

CO2 Storage by Mineral Carbonation

  • 1 September 2005
  • Storage
  • Utilisation

In 2000 the IEA GHG R&D programme issued a comprehensive report on technologies for capture of CO2 using mineral carbonation. This report evaluated 6 candidate processes but concluded that only one process involving a hot melt of magnesium chloride showed any promise. Mineral carbonation is attractive as a CO2 storage option because of its permanency but would involve mining, processing and re-depositing of massive quantities of material. In the mean time research has continued and it was felt that it was timely to conduct a more up to date study. As a first step a short review of recent developments and literature was commissioned to ascertain whether it was worthwhile going ahead with a full scale study.

Technical Review

Mineralisation - Carbonation and Enhanced Weathering

  • 1 July 2013
  • Storage
  • Utilisation

This technical review is an update of a 2005 IEAGHG review of mineralisation as means of CO2 sequestration, which concluded “Significant breakthroughs are needed but obstacles to be overcome are considerable”. This review confirms that view and concludes that recent research initiatives are unlikely to lead to technically and economically viable CO2 sequestration processes. An insurmountable barrier is the scale of mineral handling that would be required for CO2 absorption by a mineral at a coal-fired power station. The amount of igneous mineral material to be mined, processed and returned to the ground would involve materials handling at an order of magnitude greater scale than the scale of the coal mining operation that provided the fuel that is burned to produce the CO2. That would result in significant environmental consequences and life-cycle energy demands

Technical Report

GHG Accounting for CCU Technologies - Characterising CCU technologies, policy support, regulation and emissions accounting

  • 1 March 2018
  • Policy & Regulation
  • Utilisation

Over recent years, interest in CO2 capture and utilisation (CCU) from policy-makers, industry and academics has increased dramatically, although uncertainty remains regarding the technology’s true potential to contribute towards wider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. A range of views have been expressed in these contexts, but on the whole it remains largely speculative and unproven. Consequently, it is difficult to provide firm opinions on whether CCU technologies can make a meaningful and lasting contribution to tackling climate change. This report provides an assessment of the range of views presented by various stakeholders, and attempts to establish an empirical evidence base upon which to qualify the views and opinions expressed.Additionally, the key way to gain a clearer understanding of the potential for CCU technologies to reduce GHG emissions is to assess the overall energy and carbon balances for different CCU processes, and to take a view on how and whether these could make a contribution to GHG emission reductions. In other words, as noted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2005 Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (SRCCS) ‘further study of the net energy and CO2 balance of industrial processes that use the captured CO2 could help to establish a more complete picture of the potential of this option’. Such detailed studies have, at best, only partially been carried out and are heavily reliant on the assumptions made in the analysis. Thus, IEAGHG has commissioned Carbon Counts (UK) Ltd to characterise CCU technologies, as well as their policy support, regulation and emissions accounting.

CCU Technology Review Synthesis

  • 1 March 2018
  • Utilisation

Based on the backdrop outlined, the overall aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the potential of CCU technologies to contribute towards climate change mitigation objectives (i.e. by reducing emissions of anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere).

Technical Report

CO2 as a Feedstock: Comparison of CCU Pathways

  • 1 November 2021
  • Utilisation

The aim of this study is to present a holistic assessment of the viability (both technically and from a market perspective) of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) routes and to identify areas of strength and weakness within individual routes, compare different CCU pathways, and identify common drivers, barriers, and enablers. The results of this study will be of interest to the technical community, as well as industry and manufacturers. The study assessed commodities across four different CCU categories (building materials, chemicals, polymers and fuels) regarding their mitigation potential, market uptake potential, technical scalability and other impacts.

Technical Report

CO2 Utilisation: Hydrogenation Pathways

  • 1 November 2021
  • Costs of CCUS
  • Utilisation

The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of select carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) routes based upon CO2 conversion through hydrogenation, in terms of their climate change mitigation potential. The results of this study will be of interest to organisations/individuals involved with climate-change scenario modelling, as well as RD&D financial sponsors. The commodities selected for investigation were methanol, formic acid, and middle distillate hydrocarbons (synthetic fuels: diesel, gasoline, jet fuel), with a focus on catalytic hydrogenation pathways. Results of CO2 emissions, costs and energy consumption for formic acid, however, will not be presented in detail in this Overview, as the analysis has shown that the abatement is limited to 2 MtCO2 due to the small market size. (Results for formic acid are available in the full report.)

Technical Report

From Carbon Dioxide to Building Materials - Improving Process Efficiency

  • 1 March 2022
  • Utilisation

IEAGHG commissioned a study to investigate how captured CO2 can be used in building materials. It also explored the processes that are used to capture this CO2 and includes case studies where these processes are happening. The work has evaluated CO2 utilisation in the context of cement and concrete production by looking into the effects of carbonation on material utilisation and the design of a potential carbonation plant. The market analysis and market pull of carbonated building products is also covered.

Technical Report

Mineral Carbonation usig Mine Tailings - A Strategic Overview of Potential and Opportunities

  • 1 July 2022
  • Utilisation

The aim of this review is to evaluate the techno-economic viability of AMC, and the comparative maturity of the technology, based on publicly available information. This report is primarily concerned with magnesium-silicate rich mine tailings and ex situ processing to induce carbonation suitably reactive rock. Magnesium silicate rocks can potentially offer significant volumes of material for CO2 capture compared with calcium-based materials

Technical Report

Defining the Value of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage for a Low-Carbon Future

  • 1 August 2022
  • Capture
  • Utilisation

A key objective of the study was to explore the concept of ‘value’, when applied to a technology deployed in a low-carbon energy system. CCUS is an available mitigation option to support energy transitions and has been highlighted by global IAMs as a necessary technology to limit anthropogenic warming to well below 2°C. Despite this, there continues to be dissent among academics, business leaders and policymakers regarding the role CCUS can or should play in a low-carbon future. This opposition appears to stem not only from a narrow and incomplete focus on cost, and the perception that CCUS is a high-cost mitigation option under all circumstances, but also a failure to recognise the value of CCUS from other perspectives, such as human, social and environmental, to support the energy transition to net zero. As a result, a wider, deeper, and multi-disciplinary review of the ‘value’ of CCUS is explored. Recent literature spanning sector-specific techno-economic models, global and regional IAMs, and social studies to explore the diverse value of CCUS is reviewed. Results from Princeton University’s Net-Zero America study are summarised, where five alternate modelled pathways to net-zero emissions in the United States provided an exceptional level of sectoral, temporal and spatial granularity to highlight the value of CCUS in these pathways. Finally, a semi-quantitative, 2x2 decision framework was introduced to help policymakers screen the relative competitiveness of CCUS as a mitigation option across multiple domains. This framework was applied across a number of case studies, including the United States, the UK, Indonesia, Australia and Japan, to highlight under what circumstances CCUS might prove to be a valuable mitigation option to help these jurisdictions achieve time-bound mitigation goals.

Technical Report

Prospective Integration of Geothermal Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage

  • 23 August 2023
  • Storage
  • Utilisation

The aim of the study is to provide a dispassionate review and overview of scenarios where geothermal energy and CO2 utilisation and storage technologies can be combined for mutual benefit and contribute to Net Zero targets. Sourced from a rich body of literature from global research institutes and some demonstration projects many of the concepts identified have been conceptualised over the past 20 years and are still in the early concept stage. These concepts have been categorised, described and evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods. And a map based screening exercise useful for initial evaluation of areas suitable for combined synergies has been undertaken.

Technical Report

International Standards and Testing for Novel Carbonaceous Building Materials

  • 1 December 2023
  • Policy & Regulation
  • Utilisation

Over 4 billion tonnes of cement are produced each year, equating to approximately 8% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and this industry will continue to grow with the expansion of the built environment at a time that emissions need to be reduced. The utilisation or reduction of CO2 within cement, concrete and building materials could be a valuable way to contribute to emissions reductions in the sector , but there are several barriers, including the current state of standards, regulations and policies. This study will provide useful information for the technical and research community, the CCUS industry, the construction industry, and policymakers, providing an unbiased and non-prescriptive evaluation of international standards and testing relevant to novel carbonaceous building materials to address some of those barriers. The market potential for CO2 utilisation processes in the construction industry is also investigated, and the methods for certifying and measuring embodied carbon content of carbonated building materials is evaluated and the challenges therein.

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