Catch him if you can – Hi-Tech – Kommersant

The return of greenhouse gas emissions to pre-pandemic levels has led to the intensification of projects aimed at capturing and processing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. New projects are designed to combat greenhouse gas emissions in industries that are one of their main producers – in transport and energy. Scientists in the US and Europe are developing cars and trains that not only don’t emit CO2, but absorb it. And some energy companies are already building carbon capture plants to minimize emissions from oil production.

Car park for car forest

The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns and self-isolation have led to a temporary reduction emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, as the world economy emerges from covid restrictions, emissions have begun to rise again. grow. According to the Climate Transparency Report, by the fall of last year, the level of harmful emissions by the G20 countries had become come back to pre-docian level.

It is not surprising that growing greenhouse emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, again attracted increased attention not only from environmentalists and governmentsbut also scientists, researchers, inventors and investors. In autumn, researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) presented concept car ZEM (zero emission mobility – “mobility with zero emission”). The car moves not just with zero CO2 emissions, but with negative. In other words, when driving, the car not only does not emit carbon dioxide thanks to the combination of solar panels and an electric motor, but also captures it from the atmosphere with the help of a special filter and accumulator. For every thousand kilometers, it captures approximately seven tons of CO2.

The developers note that ten ZEM vehicles absorb about the same amount of carbon dioxide as one tree.

At first glance, this is not much – but already 1000 of these cars are equivalent to a small square, and if you equip other cars with CO2 capture systems, you can talk about real parks or forests of cars.

The Dutch researchers note that ZEM is not so much a prototype of a specific production model as a concept for introducing such an approach into future or existing models of not only electric vehicles, but also conventional cars. “Even if ordinary ICE cars are equipped with a system of trapping filters and accumulators, their carbon footprint will be lower in the end,” say the authors of the project, who are now in the process of obtaining a patent for their invention.

This summer in the US presented a train project with a negative carbon footprint. Startup CO2Rail Company, together with several American and Canadian universities, developed the concept of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This system is installed on rail cars, it can also be installed on cars with conventional diesel locomotives, which ultimately reduces the carbon footprint of such a train.

For a year, one train made up of such cars can collect up to 6 thousand tons of CO2.

According to the authors of the project, the cost of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in this way will be about $50 per ton of CO2, which is significantly lower than the current prices of already operating stationary plants, which reach up to $600 per ton.

Experts do not exclude that trains equipped with such systems may even be more profitable than more traditional methods of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere – land-based stationary installations that require land and many permits and approvals for construction and infrastructure. “Many people want to fight global warming, but few want this fight to take place in their backyard,” said in an interview. Forbes one of the co-authors of the project, University of Toronto professor Jeffrey Ozin. “Unlike stationary installations, trains with such cars will run on ordinary railway tracks and will simply be invisible to the ordinary eye.”

The authors of the project note that 10 CO2Rail cars can capture as much CO2 as about 15,000 cars emit. “Then carbon dioxide can be used for the needs of the chemical industry, for example, for the production of polymers, synthetic fuels, refrigerants, or for the production of carbonated drinks,” emphasizes the CO2Rail Company. “When CO2 capture and storage systems become more widespread, this will become an integral part of carbon dioxide cycle in the economy and the operation of the corresponding market”.

Not only transport

At the end of September, Fortune Business Insights researchers released reportwhich states that in 2020 the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry was already valued at $2 billion. year, and by 2028 will reach $ 7 billion. “The increase in the market will occur due to such factors as the growth of partnership projects between large industrial companies to commercialize CCS technologies, including through the construction of large enterprises of this kind,” the authors of the report believe.

One of the largest such projects is joint complex The Northern Lights (“Northern Lights”) of British Shell, French Total, Norwegian Equinor and the Norwegian government. The project was approved in 2019, and should start working in 2024. The total investment in it amounted to $ 2.6 billion. The system works like this: carbon dioxide collected using a system of fans and filters will be stored in underground reservoirs. This carbon dioxide will then be used in chemical production or distributed into sandstones about 2 km below the ocean floor.

“We want to return carbon to where it has been stored for millions of years, leading to the formation of hydrocarbons, deep in the earth’s crust,” says Christel Lambton, technical director of The Northern Lights project.

In the first year of operation, the enterprise must remove from the atmosphere and put into tanks up to 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, and then reach the design capacity of 5 million tons per year.

In 2021 in Iceland, 50 km from Reykjavik, began to work project local company Carbfix and Swiss company Climeworks. With the help of 72 powerful fans and a filter system, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere, then dissolved in sea water and pumped into the earth’s crust. “The solution passes through cracks and pores in basalt rocks, interacts with minerals and metals, and eventually just turns into stone,” says Carbfix spokesman Olafur Gudjonsson. The enterprise itself uses for its work the thermal energy of hot underground sources, which Iceland is rich in.

Late October The Wall Street Journal reported that oil company Occidental Petroleum begins construction of a CO2 capture and storage plant in Texas. The enterprise should be launched as early as 2024 and is capable of capturing 30 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year and storing up to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide in underground tanks. The company says it is doing so to neutralize the entire carbon footprint of its oil operations throughout western Texas.

According to the international project Global CCS InstituteCurrently, there are already about 200 projects for capturing and storing carbon dioxide in the world under development or construction. For example, in July the European Commission announced €1.8 billion for 17 carbon capture and storage projects in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Poland. More than 150 companies from all over the world, such as General Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ArcelorMittal, BP, Chevron, Sinopec, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Eni, as well as the governments of the UK, USA, Japan, Australia, China, participate in the Global CCS Institute.

Evgeniy Khvostik

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.