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CO 2 removal from the atmosphere Lead authors: Mark Workman 1 and Niall McGlashan 1 Other contributors: Nilay Shah 1, Mark Flower 1, Jon Gibbins 2 and.

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Presentation on theme: "CO 2 removal from the atmosphere Lead authors: Mark Workman 1 and Niall McGlashan 1 Other contributors: Nilay Shah 1, Mark Flower 1, Jon Gibbins 2 and."— Presentation transcript:

1 CO 2 removal from the atmosphere Lead authors: Mark Workman 1 and Niall McGlashan 1 Other contributors: Nilay Shah 1, Mark Flower 1, Jon Gibbins 2 and Hannah Chalmers 2,* 1 Imperial College London 2 Imperial College London (visiting) and University of Edinburgh *hannah.chalmers02@imperial.ac.uk, hannah.chalmers@ed.ac.uk AVOID session 2, Earth Systems Science 2010 Edinburgh, 12 th May 2010

2 Context A robust strategic plan is needed for 80% cuts in GHG emissions by 2050 – Need to allow for emissions that are difficult to reduce in agriculture, some transport sectors etc – Useful to have options available for an emergency where stock of CO 2 in atmosphere is too high Some CO 2 emissions abatement options are expensive, so search for alternatives continues A range of options for removing CO 2 from the atmosphere have been identified Some approaches to CO 2 removal from the atmosphere could increase options available due to potential flexibility in location for deployment

3 Preliminary illustrative numbers Technical potential for CO 2 abatement at prices below $200/tCO 2......and could be (significantly?) below $100/tCO 2 Number of individual units depends on technology approach chosen, e.g. dispersed/centralised choice? Klaus Lackner artificial trees Could need around 1.5million units for 10% of UK CO2 emissions 1ppm global contribution estimated to require <2% of current global electricity demand Biomass enhanced CCS (BECCS) could have negative emissions potential of at least 10% of current UK CO 2 emissions by 2030 Need to consider international trade for maximum contribution Full lifecycle analysis remains challenging

4 Class 1 – Class 2 – Class 3 CCS projects Class 1 = carbon positive CCS Class 2 = (near) carbon neutral CCS Class 3 = carbon negative CCS Class 1: Usually producing hydrocarbons, CCS gets the carbon footprint down to conventional hydrocarbon levels e.g. LNG, coal-to-liquids, oil sands Class 2: Producing carbon free energy vectors: electricity, hydrogen or heat Class 3B: Biomass plus CCS (takes CO 2 from the air) Class 3A: Technology to process air directly to capture CO 2 Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and replacing natural gas reinjected in oil fields are grey areas. Chalmers, H., Jakeman, N., Pearson, P. and Gibbins, J. (2009) CCS deployment in the UK: What next after the Government competition?, Proc. I.Mech.E. Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 223(3), 305-319.

5 Class 3AA CO 2 removed directly from the air and stored as CO 2 Large enough potential to pursue further Need to find sufficient low carbon energy sources Scale-up to be done Sources for pictures: IMechE (2009), Keith et al (2006)

6 Class 3AA CO 2 removed directly from the air and stored as CO 2 Large enough potential to pursue further Need to find sufficient low carbon energy sources Scale-up to be done Sources for pictures: IMechE (2009), Keith et al (2006) Also note some details can be missed in artistic impressions! - Need to handle/process caustic soda solution (including potential crashes) - Wind turbines have shed blades in other places (unusual, but has happened at Whitelee, Scotland this year)

7 Class 3AB CO 2 removed directly from the air and fixed in a stable material Further work on monitoring, verification and reporting needed Co-benefits also being explored (reversing ocean acidification, soil improvement) Reasonable potential, but time needed for scale-up Sources for pictures: Kruger (2010), Lehmann et al (2006)

8 Class 3B Biomass enhanced CCS (BECCS) Can be stand-alone use of biomass or co-firing/gasification Fuel diversity (geography and feedstock) important to counteract seasonal availability and regional surpluses Must be sensitive to competing uses and land use change Can make non-trivial contribution now/soon and unlikely to have CO 2 storage capacity constraint in UK context

9 Emerging conclusions A mix of options could be viable at reasonable scale for removing CO 2 from the atmosphere Flexibility in location could be helpful to avoid large CO 2 transport systems Costs could be reasonable and may allow a cap on CO 2 emission trading/tax costs Some options could be significant by 2030, while others may need longer to scale-up For technologies to be available asap, pilot and scale-up support will be needed


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