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Perspective

Carbon capture, storage and utilisation

Utilising CO₂

Biogenic CO₂ is an important feedstock for climate-neutral fuels and plastics. As an example, utilising captured carbon in the production of e-fuels is carbon neutral because the carbon is recycled. The consumption of e-fuels can have a further positive climate impact as it can substitute the use of fossil fuels.
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15 November 2022
CCSU Whitepaper frontpage

White Paper: Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage

This article is part of the publication “Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage.

The content was produced in close collaboration with Green Power Denmark.

Download the publication

Emitted CO₂ has traditionally been treated as a form of waste. However, carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technology enables us to turn CO₂ into valuable climate neutral products.

The climate neutral products are produced by combining captured CO₂ with green hydrogen. The hydrogen is extracted from water using electrolysis powered by electricity. It is important that the electricity used in the process is renewable, e.g. from offshore and onshore wind, solar or power plants using sustainable biomass. It is equally important that the carbon used comes from biogenic sources so that the process stays within the natural carbon cycle and does not add new CO₂ to the atmosphere.

 

Producing hydrogen-derived E-fuels

CCU is particularly relevant when decarbonising the heavy transport sector and the plastics industry. By adding carbon to hydrogen in a synthesis process, e-diesel, e-methanol and e-kerosene can be produced. These fuels can directly replace fossil fuels currently used in hard-to-abate sectors like heavy road transport, shipping and aviation. Furthermore, e-methanol can be used as a core ingredient in the plastics industry. Climate-neutral plastic also has the advantage that the CO₂ is bound in the material for many years.

The technology is not only decarbonising fossil sectors, it also offers increased sector integration and provides flexibility and security of supply at the same time. Furthermore, sector integration can lower the price of climate-neutral products.

CCU explained

Carbon capture and utilisation is a conversion technology that turns electricity into carbon-neutral products such as green fuels or green plastic.

Renewable electricity is used to produce hydrogen in electrolysers. The hydrogen can either be used directly or it can be processed further into carbon-neutral products in synthesis units by combining the hydrogen with biogenic carbon.

Excess heat from the electrolysis and synthesis plants can be used for applications such as district heating.

Great conditions for sector integration

Denmark has a world-class energy system with great conditions for sector integration. For instance, excess heat from electrolysis and synthesis plants can be used in the district heating system. Additionally, Denmark has access to large amounts of renewable electricity from offshore wind in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and biogenic carbon from point sources such as biomass plants, biogas plants, and biogenic waste. These conditions make Denmark the obvious place for pursuing CCU.

 

Large scale projects and more to come

Denmark already has great ambitions for production of climate-neutral fuels and plastic. Currently, projects of at least 7 GW of electrolysis production by 2030 have been announced. Collaboration across the entire value chain is
needed to realise these ambitions. Danish companies are already leading the way, both in the implementation of CCU and in the green transformation of the entire society.

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Carbon capture, storage and utilisation