Carbon Recycling, also called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can work as indemnity against our continuously expanding CO2 emissions.
The practice, which can capture and store carbon dioxide safely into the earth’s surface can help cope up with the excessiveCO2 produce, which is mainly churned out while burning oil, coal, or gas. It is also produced when we manufacture cement and other industrial products.
Every year, the excess amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere, which has now added up as a major threat to climate change. Having said that, can carbon recycling be our way to sustainability?
Well, unless we want to cut off oil and gas supplies to reduce the carbon emission, CCS is the best practice we can adopt right now. As stated by The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Climate Panel, it is “extremely probable” that climate change is linked with our CO2 emissions. The practice of carbon recycling can help eliminate as much as 14-17 percent of these emissions. Therefore, many scientists believe that it is not only worth the effort, but a crucial aspect of our efforts towards reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Carbon recycling is the impetus for our goal towards sustainability. It has shown scope in promoting the circulation of cleaner fuels as well.
Where Did the Concept Stem From?
Artificial Photosynthesis. Just as how nature takes up CO2, to create food, we try replicating the idea by taking CO2 and reducing it on a molecular level. The process starts with taking carbon-containing debris products (waste created by individuals, industries, agriculture, etc.), and recycling them into value-added components such as fuel or energy, through a process called gasification
Many companies are digging in to find a suitable solution. “You have all this CO2—it’s nasty stuff—what are you going to do with it?” asks Byron Elton, chief executive of Carbon Sciences. “People are saying, ‘Compress it, and hide it.’ We’re saying, ‘No, give it to us and we can turn it back into gasoline,’ “she adds.
Inspired by the ocean’s role as a natural carbon sink, researchers have developed a system of absorbing CO2 and effectively produce electricity and useable hydrogen fuel. Also, rather than finding substitutes for carbon-based processes, new methods focus on a substitute for carbon itself, extracting it from the air rather than the ground. It is a small step towards halting the carbon loop.
But yielding energy from carbon is as difficult as it sounds. Even the process of gasification consumes way too much energy in creating hydrocarbons (an attempt to make familiar fuels such as gasoline), which again, kind of, puts us back to square 1.As recreation is not entirely efficient, the process consumes more energy than it produces. This is why scientists and researchers are still trying to come to common grounds for whether investing in carbon recycling is a worthy option.
Is the Future of Carbon Capture Promising?
Although the concept isn’t entirely utopian, it does sound more promising than the current alternatives we have (which aren’t many). The self-sufficiency for fuel in itself makes the research around carbon recycling worthy.
Imagining a future where fuel is yielded out of water and CO2 is strange but live-saving. So yes, there is potential in CCU to curb carbon, but there is an attached pre-condition. No matter how efficient the technology is, it needs backing by the government along with wide industry acceptance, for its large-scale implementation, and adoption.
The technology concept and implementation need a green-flag so that it doesn’t remain yet another sustainable measure that’s only working theoretically.