«Le, it’s good. Sobriety is even better. » This is what Pierre Toulhoat told us, retired from his position as scientific director of the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research ( ) and member of the Academy of Technologies, more than a year ago. As he deciphered for us the challenges of what the experts call CCS – for capture and carbon.
He specifically addressed the storage stage. His speciality. And today, it’s Florence Delprat-Jannaud, head of the CSC program atEnergies nouvelles (IFPEN), which confirms this. “CCS technologies must in no way distract us from the essentials: efficiency and sobriety. » With it, we will more specifically address the issue of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2). Her specialty.
Why ? Firstly because at the start of 2022, the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Evolution of the(IPCC) relaunched the urgency of deploying these technologies. Announcing that we were no longer in a position to do without it, if we still hope at 1.5°C. Then because some Tech giants have just launched the Frontier initiative, a market guarantee that aims to accelerate the development of carbon capture technologies by guaranteeing future demand for them.
“There are already technologies that work well”, assures us Florence Delprat-Jannaud. She mainly wants to talk about solutions that capture CO2 in factory fumes. Those of heavy industry, which does not currently have alternative technologies to reduce its carbon footprint.
CO capture technologies2 already exist
“Capture of “post-combustion” fumes consists of recovering the CO2 by washing these fumes with a», explains the head of the CCS program at IFPEN. These technologies have been used for a long time to treat gas and have been adapted to capture CO2 industrial fumes. The problem is that they are expensive and consume a lot of energy. But the project “3D” which has just entered its phase « industrial » could change that. And help decarbonize industries . Thanks to a solvent selected for its efficiency, its competitiveness, its and the energy savings it should make possible. A first industrial unit could be operational on the production site of of AcelorMittal, in Dunkirk, from 2025. With the aim of capturing more than one million tonnes of CO2 every year.
On @bfmbusiness this morning, I came back to the strategy of #decarbonization from ArcelorMittal and on “3D”, our CO2 capture pilot launched yesterday.
This innovative project completes the range of solutions we are developing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. https://t.co/K03Kk3hjgs
– Eric Sunday (@Eric Sunday) March 22, 2022
Other CO capture solutions2 existing systems, one can cite precombustion capture. The idea is to directly produce aof carbon. An idea that only applies to a few industries. “And that should be considered at the time of the From the factory “, explains Florence Delprat-Jannaud. CO capture2 can also be done by . “To increase the concentration of CO2 in the fumes and thus facilitate its capture, we carry out a in pure oxygen and no longer in . But again, producing pure oxygen is expensive. »
“We are also working on more innovative processes, such as chemical loop combustion. It could hit the market by 2028”, explains Florence Delprat-Jannaud. On the other hand, thestraight into the , they are not ready on a large scale. From concentrations of around 10% – that’s already low -, we go to concentrations of around 0.04% – that’s tiny, even if it’s still far too much from a greenhouse effect point of view . This makes the capture operation much more delicate. However, around fifteen projects have been launched around the world. “But capturing CO2 in the air is absolutely not economically viable today. »
Costs still high, but just waiting to come down
That’s to say ? “Capturing CO2 in factory fumes, it now costs between 50 and 180 euros per ton, depending on the situation. The capture stage accounts for 50 to 70% of this amount. Compression and transport, each for 10%. The rest goes to storage”explains Florence Delprat-Jannaud. “But for direct capture in the atmosphere, it’s something else entirely. We are talking about costs between 300 and 800 euros per ton of CO2 picked up. »
Costs which should generally decrease when thetreated will increase. With the evolution of technologies, too. According to IFPEN’s CCS program manager, “there is not a minute to lose. We must work to develop different capture solutions. And in parallel, we must also study the storage possibilities for this CO2. »
Because there is doubt about it? “There is no doubt about the extent of underground storage possibilities. In Europe, the capacity is of the order of 500 gigatonnes, which is equivalent to a hundred years of emission – on the basis of theof 2019 », tells us Florence Delprat-Jannaud. But each of the potential reservoirs will have to go through a fairly precise characterization stage before being used, in order to know exactly what volume it can receive. Or to check his . And to develop long-term monitoring technologies. “For old tanks of , it takes a few years. But for which have not yet been explored by the oil industry, it takes about ten years. »
What should be remembered is therefore that if research still has work to do, there are already technologies for capturing CO2 mature ones that could help us decarbonize industry above all. By 2070, the International Energy Agency estimates that CCS will offset the emission of 9.5 billion tonnes of CO2. Enough to contribute 15% to the effort needed to save our climate. But for that, “We must act today. Implement CCS solutions in heavy industry, in particular. And start limiting what experts call incompressible emissions. To support the efforts ofwhich must, moreover, continue to be granted”concludes for us Florence Delprat-Jannaud.