Home / News / World /  Carbon capture plants- saviour or failure amid a raging climate crisis?

Carbon capture plants are the emerging way to trap excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in a bid combat global warming. The latest country to embark on this development is the Rishi Sunak-led United Kingdom government. 

The carbon capture plant aims to stop most Carbon Dioxide emission from reaching the atmosphere and consequentially contributing to global warming. 

How does carbon capture work?

According to a news report by BBC, the carbon capture process stops most of the CO2 produced from being released, and either re-uses it or stores it underground.

The process of carbon capture happens when the atmospheric or emitted CO2 will be done in the power plants itself. It is to be noted that the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal to generate electricity emits CO2, which is the main driver of climate change.

Therefore, the plant will capture the natural gas from the power plants and extract the CO2 and keep it stored underground. After that the natural gas will be sent back to the plant and furthered out. 

The BBC report has informed that the UK government wants a new power station where carbon dioxide is captured and stored under the North Sea - either in old oil and gas reservoirs, or permeable rocks known as saline aquifers.

Why do we need to capture carbon?

Apart from being a part of the mission to reduce carbon footprint on the Earth, thereby damage controlling the severe climate crisis triggered by global warming, carbon capture plants are efficient renewable energy source. 

“There has been a big expansion in renewable energy in the last decade - in particular the use of offshore wind - but the unresolved question is how to keep the lights on when the wind isn't blowing. Carbon capture power stations are seen as part of the solution", reports BBC. 

Which countries have carbon capture?

In September 2022 there were just 30 carbon capture facilities in the world, according to a report from the Global CCS Institute. Almost all of these are attached to industrial plants carrying out activities such as natural gas processing or fertiliser production.

The only carbon capture power station currently operating is a coal-fired plant at Boundary Dam in western Canada.

However, several carbon capture gas power stations similar to those proposed in the UK are in development, mostly in the US.

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