Carbon Engineering : The Future ?

Global Warming, a global phenomenon. The solution ? Stop burning fossil fuels. Yeah. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

So what if we can suck out all the excess CO2 from the air ? Hmm… Can we ?

    We can suck the excess CO2 from the air, and the technology behind it, “Direct Air Capture”. Chemistry folks. There are many ways in which CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere, and almost all of them involves the use of chemicals on which CO2 dissolves. The solution containing CO2 is then heated to produce CO2 in gas form which is them feeded underground.

It works in many ways. Many coal burning companies use direct air capture to capture the gas it produces and recycles it back to the ground. 

The major issue with this techniques is the cost of operation until recently, direct air capture costs more than $600 to suck a ton of CO2 from the atmosphere. Recently, a company called “Carbon Engineering” backed by Bill Gates has published a technique on which it claims that it can reduce the price to as low as $60 per ton.

Carbon Engineering plans to build world’s largest carbon sucking plant. But instead of the process mentioned above, the sucked in CO2 from the air would be injected into oil wells of “Oxy” which is a petrol company and an investor in Carbon Engineering. It would help Oxy to produce “Carbon-Neutral” oil. 

The amount of CO2 taken out in form of oil would be inserted back into the earth in form of gaseous CO2 by carbon engineering meaning that burning oil produced by these methods does not produce any CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus “Carbon-Neutral” Oil.

Carbon Engineering claims that this would help the company to raise money to open other plants that would help it to suck millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

We are dependent on Fossil Fuels for most of our energy needs. Until recently, there has been less traction towards use of renewable form of energy. Electric Cars, Solar Homes, these technologies are now coming up, partly because of increase in costs of fossil fuels.

Carbon Engineering reduces the cost of these fuels largely due to subsidies from the government for producing Carbon Neutral fuels and thus once again promoting the use of fossil fuels. Does burning fossil fuels without producing excess CO2 justify the use of them ? Or is Clean Energy is the future ? Comment below.

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