The Earth. Connected.

Capturing CO2 today for The Carbon Economy Tomorrow.


Overview of Carbon Capture Technologies

Carbon capture technologies are designed to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes or directly from the air, and then either store it underground or repurpose it for other uses.

Below is a diagram of how the various technologies can be related to one another. Each technology has its advantages and limitations. Selecting the appropriate technology depends on factors such as the source and quantity of CO2 emissions, the available infrastructure, and the intended use of the captured CO2.

TerraNexum plans to connect commercial and industrial building owners with technology vendors with technologies able to deliver the highest financial value alongside the highest impact in CO2 emissions reductions. This includes both CO2 on its way up into the atmosphere and CO2 being pulled down from it, for permanent storage either underground or for profitable uses. Of these, direct air capture (DAC) or biomass storage (biochar) used with one or both CO2 mineralization or concrete storage seem to be among the highest-value, highest-impact technologies available today. These are conveniently represented in the 4 regions surrounding the center of the diagram below.

Although enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is represented on the diagram below, we do not offer EOR technologies due to the resulting 1) new emissions from the recovered oil as well as 2) the re-release of the CO2 used to recover it. However, if EOR can temporarily prevent oil from being shipped in from overseas where the emissions from shipping must now be added on top of both 1 and 2, there is value there, especially if that energy is used to accelerate the production and deployment of renewable energy and energy storage technologies needed for a faster energy transition.

The following classifications of carbon capture technologies have their own advantages and limitations, and selecting the appropriate technology depends on factors such as the source and quantity of CO2 emissions, the available infrastructure, and the intended use of the captured CO2.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): CO2 is captured from industrial processes or power plants and stored in deep geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas fields or saline aquifers. These technologies come with a high initial cost and very long project development and execution lead times, due to having to involve large engineering and procurement contractors, FEED studies, and Class VI sequestration applications. Only large institutional investors and commercial and industrial emissions sources have the funding to construct such projects, and regulatory pressure is necessary because other than 45Q sequestration credits, the companies having to fund these projects see few other financial benefits. Typically, the increased insurance costs due to extreme weather, along with ever-increasing energy costs due to rising natural gas prices and increasingly strained electric grids, are not factored into the benefits of such projects. These are long-term benefits, whereas 45Q credits can only be counted on for 12 years after facility commissioning.

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS): This is very similar to CCS, with the exception that CO2 is captured and used as a feedstock for the production of various products, such as building materials, fuels, and chemicals. The remaining CO2 is then stored in geological formations. Utilization projects are smaller than large CCS projects but they have a quicker turnaround, are less expensive, and the costs can be offset by green product sales (biochar, aggregates from mineralized CO2, bioplastics, etc.).

Direct Air Capture (DAC): This includes technologies able to be used at atmospheric (direct air) concentrations of CO2, presently at about 418 ppm (0.0418% of the air by volume). CO2 is captured directly from the air using chemical processes or sorbents, and then either stored underground or used for other purposes. Many DAC technologies resemble those of CCS/CCUS, but tend to be able to adsorb CO2 at lower temperatures, even at room temperature. Once the CO2 is captured, it can then be stored (as in CCS) or utilized in products (as in CCUS).

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR): Many types of technologies fall under this category, all of which remove CO2 from the air using various methods, such as afforestation, ocean fertilization, mineral carbonation, as well as biochar. The cleanest and cheapest technologies are found in this category, but currently also the slowest and perhaps most risky. It takes decades for trees to sequester appreciative quantities of CO2, requiring water and nutrients the entire time, if a forest is not destroyed by wildfires, storms, or is clearcut first. Trees alone, while needed for many other benefits, cannot get us to our climate goals alone.

How Carbon Capture Technologies Can Help You Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Carbon capture technologies, once powered by renewable energy, can help companies to reduce their carbon footprint to net zero - and beyond. By capturing CO2 emissions from industrial processes or the air, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved, allowing the company to contribute to the fight against climate change. There are profitable applications for the CO2 that is captured, if it is used for the production of various products such as building materials, fuels, and chemicals. In this way, companies can help to create a closed-loop carbon economy that is both sustainable and profitable.

Installing carbon capture technologies can provide businesses with several benefits, including:

Increased energy efficiency: Carbon capture technologies, by removing CO2 which is a gaseous waste product, can help to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes and reduce energy consumption.

Cost savings: By capturing CO2 emissions, companies can avoid carbon taxes and other penalties, and even generate revenue by selling the captured CO2 for use in other applications.

Enhanced reputation: By demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, companies can enhance their reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers and partners.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Climeworks: This Swiss company specializes in direct air capture technology and has built several DAC plants in Europe. One of its plants, located in Iceland, captures CO2 from the air and injects it into basaltic rock formations, where it mineralizes and becomes permanently stored.

CarbonCure: This Canadian company has developed a technology that injects captured CO2 into concrete during the mixing process, where it reacts with the cement to create stronger and more sustainable concrete. The technology has been used in several construction projects, including the world's first LEED Platinum-certified parking garage in Alberta.