When reducing carbon dioxide emissions is one of the hottest topic at most environmental conferences, researchers at the Norwegian state-owned enterprise Gassnova and the Research Council of Norway created the Norwegian Research Programme for Accelerating the Commercialisation of Carbon Capture and Storage by Financial Stimulation of Research Development and Demonstration (CLIMIT).
The main aim of the programme is to assess various existing technologies at different scales and to find the most cost-effective and efficient solutions to this major concern.
1. Costs. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest challenges and limitations of existing technologies. The CLIMIT program which is expected to be implemented in its revised form in early 2013 encourages bringing down costs by developing next generation technologies.
2. Innovation. Many ongoing projects are already working on finding the best strategy to develop efficient CO2 management programs. Although the scale of these projects varies from using nanoparticles to capture CO2, to experimenting with different solvents, at CLIMIT scientists urge for further development and additional funding of more projects and initiatives.
3. Electricity with zero emissions. Another great challenge is to produce electricity in the “greenest” way possible. Constructions of facilities, such as Zero Emission Gas (ZEG) with high efficiency and, as the name says, no emissions, should be encouraged. The interesting point here is that the facility not only produces electricity and hydrogen at the same time, but also captures CO2. This is definitely something worth investing in.
4. Chemical Looping Combustion. This is another one of these energy producing alternatives that capture CO2. It has two reactors- one combusts coal and natural gas with metal oxide to produce its metal, while the other converts this metal to its metal oxide state. The loop generates electricity with 51% efficiency.
5. Palladium membrane. This super-thin membrane separates CO2 from natural gas before hydrogen is produced, dividing the hydrocarbons into pure hydrogen and pure CO2.
6. DualCO2. This is still under development, but if successful, it could be a real breakthrough. Scientists at University of Oslo together with SINTEF are working on developing a membrane that is permeable only for CO2.
7. NanoCO2. These have the great potential to increase the efficiency of CO2 capturing systems. Using amines, a typical post-combustion system allows treating of chemicals and water in order to capture CO2 much faster and to release it using much less energy.
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Why are we trying to re-invent the wheel? Carbon management already has a system in place but we think we can do better than mother nature. That is what I have come to expect from a species that thinks it can control climate change. Its pure poppycock if you ask me. You want to sequester carbon....plant a tree, then cut it down and bury it deep underground. The same could be said for any carbon based plant or animal on this planet. Sequestering carbon isn't new where do you think all coal and oil and natural gas came from? Just repeat the process that we know works and stop wasting time money and resources on pie in the sky plans that will cost more than they help. Has the whole world suddenly become blind that they can't see the answers for the trees.