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Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA

CCU Technology Review Synthesis

Carbon Counts UK

Citation: IEAGHG, "CCU Technology Review Synthesis", 2018-TR01c , March 2018.

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Publication Overview

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).

Publication Summary

The main findings of the research programme on CO2 capture and utilisation technologies (CCU) are: 1. Momentum for CCU has increased significantly over recent years at a political, industrial and academic level. 2. A number of funded CCU research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects, and several ongoing commercial operations, are active around the world at the current time. 3. Despite the various RD&D funding efforts, uncertainty remains regarding the efficacy of CCU technologies to deliver real, measurable, verifiable and scalable GHG emission reductions. 4. Asymmetry of information notwithstanding, there is growing political pressure on regulators to integrate CCU into low carbon policies. 5. Actions at a political level and the RD&D activities for CCU on the ground appear to be out of synchronisation. 6. Analyses of the energy and carbon flows across a selected number of commercial and demonstration scale CCU case studies show that there is potential for GHG benefits to arise from CCU. 7. Net GHG benefits arising from CCU technologies can only be fully assessed by taking a life cycle GHG accounting perspective. 8. The complexity of GHG accounting and net GHG benefit assessment can be reduced by employing a ‘CO2 capture benefit’ method. 9. Although the analysis provides new insights into CCU GHG accounting, it is partial as it considers only energy and carbon flows across the CCU life cycle and is based only on large demonstration/commercial-scale operations. This does provide a valuable building block from which to develop more comprehensive approaches, however. 10. Based on the approach taken in this research, CCU GHG accounting guidelines v1.0 have been prepared to facilitate improved transparency about CCU and emission reductions. 11. The life cycle of CCU means that several factors must be kept in mind when designing appropriate policies and regulation

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