EPFL engineers in Sion, Switzerland have demonstrated the potential to achieve net-zero and net-negative emissions in key industrial sectors by integrating carbon capture and mineralization directly in the industries themselves. Research focuses on the strategic sectors of cement production, steelmaking, and waste incineration. It offers a cost-effective and energy-efficient method to reduce CO2emissions, thereby contributing greatly to achieving the global climate target.
With the urgent need to address carbon emissions from factories and industrial facilities, research from the Laboratory of Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (IPESE) has identified a solution to integrate CO.2 extraction and mineralization within the production process.
Carbonates formed through mineralization provide a safe and long-term storage solution for CO2, effectively removing it from the atmosphere. As an additional ecological benefit, mineralized carbon can be used as a building material. This, in turn, prevents the acquisition of new materials and contributes to the reduction of emissions and a circular economy.
According to Professor François Marechal, head of IPESE, these key industrial sectors require CO2 extraction to reach carbon neutrality.
“Achieving net-zero is not possible by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy alone. In this study we show the importance of adopting a process integration to reduce the cost of capturing and of sequestration,” said Marechal. According to research, mineralization, or reaching the final state of oxidation for carbon, guarantees a safe and long-term sequestration and solves the problem of finding deep geological locations for sequestration.
Reuse materials found nearby and on site
EPFL research through Ph.D. The student Rafael Castro-Amoedo applies a systems engineering approach that combines extraction and mineralization directly within the industrial sectors themselves, taking advantage of their large amount of waste heat, alkaline solid residues, and process emissions. These sectors currently represent approximately 12% of all emissions in the EU, and carbon can be sequestered at a cost of 62 and 85 EUR per ton of CO.2.
The costs detailed in the study offer economic benefits of up to 50% in the deployment of capture and storage separately and emphasize the importance of applying a process integration system. In nature, the application of this method amounts to a reduction of 860 million tons of CO2 and represents savings of 535 billion EUR compared to the total social costs of inaction. Put in context, these savings amount to 130 EUR per year for every European citizen.
The successful implementation of this transformative solution will require a significant effort in retrofitting industries. Research shows that a six-year timeline is needed to renovate existing facilities and fully integrate the proposed carbon capture and mineralization technology. This timeframe will allow for the gradual transition of industries towards a more sustainable and climate-friendly future.
The research was published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science and represents a significant step towards achieving net-zero and net-negative emissions in industrial sectors.
By arresting the CO2 directly from factories, using waste residues, and combining external minerals, this new method offers a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally sound solution. The economic benefits and potential cost savings associated with Amoedo’s integrated solution make a compelling case for further policy measures and carbon pricing reform. With continued support and collaboration, this research holds the potential to transform industrial practices, mitigate climate change, and pave the way for a sustainable future.
Rafael Castro-Amoedo et al, On the role of system integration of carbon capture and mineralization in achieving net-negative emissions in industrial sectors, Energy & Environmental Science (2023). DOI: 10.1039/D3EE01803B
Provided by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Citation: New study shows multiple advantages of capturing carbon where it is produced (2023, July 17) retrieved 17 July 2023 from https://techxplore.com/news/2023-07-multiple-advantages-capturing- carbon.html
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