It is widely acknowledged that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) solutions are essential for hard-to-abate industries to meet their Net Zero 2050 targets, as set out by the Paris Agreement.
The global cement industry alone, is responsible for as much as 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions and is taking action to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. With environmental and political pressure building, heavy industries, like cement manufacture require CCUS solutions that are available and economically viable. Carbonation is a way to succeed and help heavy industries meet these challenges.
Carbonation happens naturally, but very slowly at the existing levels of CO₂ in the atmosphere. It is one of nature’s ways to sequester CO₂. By engineering the conditions of exposure to CO₂ and controlling the reaction, carbonation becomes an economically viable form of CCUS. Specifically, captured CO2 can be used as a feedstock for making products; products in which CO2 is permanently sequestered.
An example to consider, is the application of this to industrial waste. The carbonation of CO2 in residues is attractive as it is a circular economic approach that can be achieved via direct use of available point source CO2. There is a unique opportunity to strip the CO2 gas directly from a flue stack to manage both solid and gaseous waste streams. When controlled, this process not only provides a commercial opportunity by diverting waste from landfill, but also through the ability to manufacture products with value.
As the emphasis moves further towards low-carbon construction and wider certification of products becomes firmly established, then the carbon offsets achieved by the manufacture and use of mineralised construction products will become more important.
“Carbonation is an economically viable and energy efficient CCUS technology solution, allowing for the permanent capture of CO2.”– Dr Paula Carey, Co-Founder