With the increasing oil and gas activities, that there has been an exponentially large amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that have been emitted into the atmosphere. This phenomenon adheres mostly to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. With that, the technique of trapping CO2 produced during power production and industrial operations and preserving it so that it is not released into the environment is known as carbon capture and sequestration/storage (CCS). CCS technologies offer a lot of promise for lowering CO2 emissions. CCS-equipped plants can collect nearly all of the CO2 that is emitted.
First of all, for context, as per the Global CCS Institute’s 2019 Status Report, 40 million metric tons (mmt) of CO2 are collected and stored annually in facilities that are fully operational or under development. The oil and gas sector, alone, is responsible for a large proportion of the world’s total CO2 emissions. Today, indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil activities total about two hundred million tons (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent. Such pollutants, which do not include any pollutants related to real gasoline use, account for around 15% of the energy sector’s overall GHG emissions.
In the case of gas, indirect emissions account for between 15% and 40% of the total emission levels during its whole service life. This indicates that about 97 percent of today’s gas has substantially lower emission levels than coal. Nonetheless, instead of focusing on the difference between coal and gas, the goal for the near future should be to concentrate on cost-effective solutions to bridge that gap between gas and zero-carbon technologies. As per a Renewable Energy Expert who preferred anonymity, “the carbon capture is a new technology idea that is becoming very popular in the UK and in the West, but the Middle East still did not consider how important this idea is.” The Renewable Energy Expert continued by stating that, “Carbon capture technologies are needed, especially because of the high amount of carbon and greenhouse gases that exist, especially from the oil and gas industry and the transport industry.”
Carbon Capture Technology
CCS is the process of capturing, transferring, and storing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel sources, energy-intensive businesses, and gas reserves before injecting them down into the earth. CCS is being suggested in a variety of applications.
CO2 may be captured at the source – the facility generating CO2 – using a variety of technologies. Furthermore, post-combustion carbon capture (the most common approach in current power plants), pre-combustion carbon capture (often used in industry applications), and oxy-fuel combustion systems are the three types. CO2 is extracted from the output of a combustion chamber for post-combustion carbon capture. Industrial facilities employ commercially accessible pre-combustion capture technology; nevertheless, pre-combustion collection in power plants is still very much in the initial phases of implementation.
Carbon Capture Potential
As per the World Bank report, air pollution costs Egypt alone approximately EGP 47 billion per year. To address this, a number of government-led projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions are being implemented with the help of financing and the private sector. Additional steps, however, are necessary, according to some experts and company owners, who advocate for a more extensive renewables plan, monetary incentives to expand renewables, pollution caps for the environmentally damaging sectors, and the use of greener carbon sequestration technologies.
It can be noted that while this technology is attracting a great deal of interest, there are some financial and social obstacles to overcome. For this reason, at this moment in time, CCS does not necessarily appear to be part of Egypt’s plan. In Egypt, CCS remains to be an exorbitant decarbonization option, while solar and wind power are two examples of cost-competitive technologies that have become popular and accessible. Others, such as solar-powered desalination and green hydrogen, have enormous promise. This does not necessarily mean that implementing CCS technologies is not plausible, but it must appeal to the industry and the reliance on conventional fossil fuels must transition to greener technologies to ensure that CCS technologies can be viewed as a feasible technology for implementation.
The Way Forward
There are a number of additional problems that might aid future CCS decision-making by advancing the idea of CCS’s contribution to long-term international reduction and stability of carbon dioxide levels. These include the possibility for CCS technology adoption and implementation, as well as chances for poor nations to benefit from CCS, its implementation to biomass CO2 sources, and the interplay between CCS expenditure as well as other mitigation approaches.
Politicians, environmentalists, and the broader population must all be educated on the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy by the scientific community. Carbon sequestration is not a substitute for greater energy efficiency or the use of non-carbon forms of energy. These are, nevertheless, a vital addition since there will be reduced hardship in tackling environmental issues if so, many technical choices are accessible. Additionally, a range of technologies offer lower related costs and real solutions, with the technologies chosen based on the local conditions.
To conclude, in a carbon-constrained future, governments and corporations that can legitimately demonstrate that they will be implementing steps to decrease indirect emissions might fairly contend that all these resources must be favored over higher-emission alternatives. The oil and gas sector must be engaged in reducing the environmental effect of oil and gas production in any manner feasible, and politicians must acknowledge this as a critical component of global decarbonization.