MEXICO CITY, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Industries from cement to mining are creating plans to cap and cut their planet-warming emissions, and many depend on a technology still in development: carbon capture.
There are two main types of carbon capture and storage: Point-source carbon capture and storage (CCS) sequesters CO2 produced at the source, like a smokestack, while direct air capture (DAC) removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Captured CO2 usually is permanently stored underground, although carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) reuses the CO2.
The technology, however, is not yet widely available and is highly expensive.
The capacity of CCS projects grew 48% from 75 million tonnes per annum (mpta) at the end of 2020 to 111 mtpa by September, according to the Australia-based Global CCS Institute. Several groups see a need for billions of tonnes of storage by midcentury; Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) expects a $2 trillion market by 2040.
Here’s how four large industries, all major carbon emitters, are using CCS technology.
CEMENT AND CONCRETE
Cement and concrete production accounts for about 8% of global CO2 emissions. Massive kilns that heat raw materials in order to make clinker, a key ingredient of cement, account for the majority of emissions.
The Global Cement and Concrete Association recently announced a road map to net-zero cement by 2050 and pledged 10 industrial-scale carbon capture plants by 2030.
Carbon capture technology is the “elephant in the room,” Fernando Gonzalez, chief executive of Mexico’s Cemex, said in a company presentation this month, referring to the challenges around developing the technology.
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