Impact and Customers:
- The continual rise in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 and the concomitant effect on climate change underlie the urgent need for the implementation of carbon mitigation approaches to stabilize the CO2 concentration while more sustainable energy technologies are developed.
- Given the existing availability, of and dependence on, fossil fuel resources worldwide (particularly coal), fossil fuel based energy sources are expected to remain the predominant source of energy in the foreseeable future. A key step in carbon mitigation involves the separation and capture of CO2 at point sources such as coal fired power plants. The prospects for developing commercially viable carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies depend upon the added cost of generating electricity with CCS.
- Carbon capture technologies are very costly, in great part due to the energy required to regenerate the solvents currently available to capture CO2. Current DOE targets for viable post-combustion technologies are 90% capture efficiency, with an associated increase in electricity costs no greater than 35%.
- Opportunities to decrease capture costs could come from the development of energy efficient solid sorbents and membranes. The achievement of this goal could be greatly accelerated through the development of standards and advances in measurement science. Potential customers include the fuel, oil, chemical, and building industries, as well as CO2 sorbent manufacturers, carbon capture plant builders, and fossil fueled power plants.