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Carbon capture & storage (CCS)

To be on-track for a Net-Zero worldwide economy by 2050, as laid out by the IEA, we must cut 90% of the world’s emissions while maintaining economic growth. Even if these required emissions reductions are met, 7.6 gigatons of CO2 per year are projected to still be emitted by critical industries. For those industries with processes that directly emit CO2, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) must be thoughtfully considered.

Compared to offsets, insets place the responsibility of carbon emissions reductions upon the parties directly involved in their production. Engineered carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) acts as an inset for industries with primary CO2 emissions. However, there are currently both technical and logistical barriers to meet IPCC goals of gigaton scale deployment of CCS.

From a technological standpoint, the state-of-the-art for CO2 capture is amine solvents. However, even after many years of optimization, commercial amine capture systems still demand 2 GJ or more per ton CO2, several times larger than required by thermodynamics. Furthermore, amines are susceptible to degradation in oxygen-rich post-combustion scenarios like cement production and coal or natural gas power plants. Thus, advances that reduce the energy penalty as well as the degradation rate of capture materials are necessary.

From a logistical perspective, even where mature technologies are directly applicable, projects are often near ~ $1 billion. Forming the right partnerships, taking advantage of government incentives, and cooperating with other industries to build necessary infrastructure are major challenges.

As the MCSC, we bring companies and MIT experts together to facilitate the conversations, analyses and investigations necessary to bridge these gaps.

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Who’s studying this

Glen Junor

MCSC Impact Fellow

Sydney Sroka

MCSC Impact Fellow

Member companies participating

Accenture
BBVA
Boeing
Cargill
Dow
IBM
Holcim
MathWorks
Nexplore – Hochtief
Verizon
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