The global carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) market was estimated to be worth USD 4.68 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to CCS Market grow at a CAGR of 7.9 % from 2019 to 2026. Carbon capture and sequestration are generally considered as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), is an integrated suit of technologies that are designed to prevent massive quantities of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and capturing it to use it for commercial purposes.
CCS technologies are primarily applied basically to all types of gas powered and coal powered plants in the present time. Even the existing power plants are being upgraded to CCS installations, but as it requires additional space and extensive integration to accommodate the CO2 system, this has not been a viable option for every power plant in the world. In addition to it the cost factor of the project is yet another considerable thing.
The importance of carbon capture and sequestration projects have been increasing significantly with the rising issue of greenhouse gas emissions. In December 2015, at COP 21 meeting in Paris, all of 195 UNFCCC parties reinforced their motive to hold the increase in global temperature to below two degree Celsius. And, for this CCS is among the most potential technology to mitigate the change and help in balancing CO2 levels in the near future.
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It is the currently available technology that is capable of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from various industrial operations. It is the only available and potential technological solution to decarbonize the power generation industry, mainly in nations with higher share of utilization of fossil fuels for generating electricity. Several research studies and energy demand forecast have stated that, by 2040 the global population will still be dependent primarily on fossil fuels for energy generation, but with an unprecedented development in the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon technologies.
Currently, only 22 large scale CCS facilities are deployed globally that are operational or under construction. And the present CO2 capture capacity is only about 40 million tons per year. These facilities cover a wide range of industries including power generation, gas facilities, fertilizer, hydrogen production or refining applications, chemicals and steel production. These facilities are located mostly in and around the North American region where most of the captured carbon is and is intended to be used for enhanced oil recovery operations in the region.
Pre-combustion capture technology of carbon dioxide is one of the most used in most of the facilities. It has few advantages over oxy-fuel and post-combustion systems. This is owing to the fact that in this process carbon dioxide remains at higher pressure and requires smaller equipments. This makes the separation process easy and efficient for sequestration.
However, these are a few challenges as well, such as the technology is applicable only for new plants as its separation process is the integral part of the combustion process that results in a greater down time. It cannot be retrofitted in existing facilities. Moreover, pre-combustion is relatively new and not as matured as post-combustion and oxyfuel processes. It cannot be applied in large scale facilities of power generation. Operation cost of this technology is higher owing to greater energy penalty for cooling of syngas for carbon dioxide separation with the conventional methods.
Post-combustion capture systems are currently the most used technology in coal fired powered plants. Its primary advantage is that it can be retrofitted to the existing power generation facilities. In either retrofitted or new installation application, post-combustion systems enable the continued development of pulverized coal technology that are familiar to power sectors.
Similar to the pre and oxyfuel combustion system, post combustion technology also has some drawbacks. The most prominent one is that the amine technologies used in post-combustion capture it results in loss of net power output of approximately 30% and around 11% reduction in efficiency.
Oxyfuel combustion technology is the least used system in the currently operational CCS projects. This is owing to the fact that it is not possible to built sub-scale oxyfuel combustion technology at the existing power generation facilities. An oxyfuel combustion capture technology-based power plant should be designed as a completely integrated one and requires commitment to an entire power plant for oxyfuel technology. Thus, it results in the costliest installations and technology applications compared to pre and post combustion capture technologies that has the advantage of deployment on slip streams of the existing power plants.
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As it is still considered as a new technology, it is imperative to gather public acceptance. Hence, the technology developers or the industry participants has been addressing concerns that have been raised and also showcasing the primary project developments in order to augment stakeholder understanding. This is also to enhance sequestration familiarization with carbon capture and sequestration as an emission reduction and controlling technology that is strictly required to be deployed widely for a low-carbon future.
In the present scenario, countries that are further advanced throughout the CCS lifecycle have been developing or have already implemented pilot CCS projects for demonstration. The pilot projects are the primary drivers for learning by doing and these small-scale facilities offer a catalyst or focus for the other associated capacity developments and enables analysis on pre-investment activities.
North America has the highest number of operational carbon capture and sequestration projects globally. Enhanced oil recovery operations in the region has helped enabling the economical cases of 13 out of 15 CCS projects that are operational located in Canada and the U.S. Moreover, government support initiated around ten years ago in the form of several provincial/state and federal initiatives including tax, credits, grants, etc. has been the most essential. Most of the facilities in the U.S. are a blend of a number of incentives and policies, but grunts from the U.S. government has been the most beneficial and active steps in addressing greater CCS capital and its operating cost.
Asia Pacific CCS market is anticipated to be the most potential regional industry in deployment of future carbon capture facilities. However, the most recent progress in the region has been on CCS technology developments through a few pilot projects and several research efforts. These progresses have been made possible by a mix of pre-existing administration commitments and the presence of globally leading technology providers and research institutions.
The CCS industry can be termed as a completely regulated one in terms of project deployment planning and schemes. The development over the CCS industry till now has been greatly driven by government initiatives as an effort for carbon emission control and subsequently the companies that have offered several technological advantages in context of capture, transportation, storage and further reuse of the carbon dioxide.
Some of the companies that have been significantly influential in innovation and development of CCS technologies till the present would include few of the names such as Shell, Chevron, NRG Energy, Climeworks, Carbon Engineering and CO2 solutions.