According to the US Department of Energy:
“Carbon capture refers to the separation and capture of CO2 from emissions point sources or the atmosphere and the recovery of a concentrated stream of that CO2 that can be feasibly stored (sequestered) or converted in such a way as to mitigate its impact as a greenhouse gas. For all practical purposes, it entails the capture of CO2 from stationary sources, such as fossil fuel-fired power plants and industrial facilities. Research efforts are focused on systems for capturing CO2 from coal-fired power plants because they are the largest stationary sources of CO2.”
If this process is made less expensive, perhaps there will be mandatory investment in it one day for all plants using coal power. However, the USDOE also states on another part of it’s site that:
“CO2 is currently recovered from combustion exhaust by using amine absorbers and cryogenic coolers. The cost of CO2 capture using current technology, however, is on the order of $150 per ton of carbon – much too high for carbon emissions reduction applications. Analysis performed by SFA Pacific, Inc. indicates that adding existing technologies for CO2 capture to an electricity generation process could increase the cost of electricity by 2.5 cents to 4 cents/kWh depending on the type of process.”
All we can do now, it seems, is be hopeful that the DOE will invest in and transition to renewable energy production sources as soon as possible, and move away from coal for good.
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