“Carbon Capture” Efforts Show Strong Growth

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Experts say improved tax credits are needed to close the cost gaps associated with deploying carbon management technologies in major US industrial sectors. (Photo by Anton Eprev via Unsplash)

Carbon dioxide – the most commonly produced greenhouse gas – is central to multiple technologies being developed around the world to capture, transport, reuse and store it, and should become an important part of any future attempt to tackling climate change, experts say.

The United States has seen unprecedented growth in carbon management projects in 2021, according to Lee Beck of the Clean Air Task Force.

Of the more than 50 new projects announced, 70% were in the industrial sector, Beck said Tuesday during an online briefing on carbon capture projects and industrial emissions.

Beck shared a map that shows nearly 90 projects have been announced in the United States since 2018 as a result of the federal Section 45Q tax credit. No projects are in Oklahoma.

The briefing was organized by the Carbon Capture Coalition, which includes more than 90 organizations from industry, labor, conservation, environment and energy policy.

Industrial sectors are responsible for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, said CCC’s Jessie Stolark.

More than half of industrial emissions occur in the steel, cement and chemical sectors and cannot be eliminated through efficiency or decarbonization of energy inputs because they are inherent in key industrial processes, Stolark said. .

“Making cement is a very carbon-intensive process,” said Lio Barrera, director of U.S. government and public affairs for LafargeHolcim. The global manufacturer of building materials is the largest producer of cement in the United States

“About 50% of emissions are process emissions. Which means you could electrify everything and use alternative fuels and still generate 50% of your emissions,” Barrera said. The conversion of limestone into cement “generates carbons in the process”.

A crucial part of the company’s net zero emissions goal is to “bring carbon capture, use and storage projects online,” he said.

LafargeHolcim has more than 20 projects around the world studying and trying to develop and scale carbon management technologies. In the United States, the company is conducting preliminary engineering design studies with support from the Department of Energy at its cement plants in Florence, Colorado, and Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

Capturing CO2 emissions from large power and industrial plants and putting them to good use or storing them in deep geological formations is a key part of national efforts to mitigate climate change.

The United States has at least 2.4 trillion metric tons of possible CO2 storage available in salt formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and unmineable coal seams, which could potentially store hundreds of years of carbon dioxide. industrial greenhouse gas emissions, according to the US Department. of energy.

ADM, a global human and animal nutrition company, began sequestering carbon 2.4 km underground more than 10 years ago in Decatur, Illinois, said Colin Graves, vice president of the innovation.

“To date, we’ve sequestered over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to taking about 750,000 cars off the road for a full year,” Graves said.

Beck said there are currently 12 storage facilities in operation in the United States, capturing 23 million tons of CO2 per year.

Federal infrastructure bill includes $12.1 billion for CO2 transportation and storage, allowing businesses in all regions of the United States to access carbon management technologies even if they are not located near a storage facility, she said.

Experts agreed that the tax credit improvements contained in the Build Back Better Act are key to closing the cost gap associated with reducing carbon emissions from industrial facilities.

Investing in the technologies and processes needed to produce low carbon steel, cement, aluminum, glass, chemicals and other materials is essential, said Zoe Lipman, Deputy Director of the Industrial Trade Union Council of the ALF-CIO.

“They support hundreds of thousands of good jobs in industries that, in many cases, have been particularly hard hit by decades of bad industrial policy,” Lipman said. “We were offshoring jobs and increasing emissions at the same time.”

Expanded tax credits and direct investments in manufacturing and industry are key to deploying best-in-class technologies in new facilities and existing factories, she said.

“We need to get them across the finish line to evolve into a clean and competitive industrial sector,” Lipman said.

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