Capturing Carbon

We all want to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Its contribution to global warming is well-documented and anything that can be done to mitigate it is to be encouraged.

Obviously, the best way to reduce carbon in the atmosphere is not to emit it in the first place. However, given that some carbon emissions are impossible to avoid, the process of carbon capture and storage has become increasingly popular.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a way of reducing carbon emissions, which could be key to helping to tackle global warming. It’s a three-step process, involving: capturing the carbon dioxide produced by power generation or industrial activity, such as steel or cement making; transporting it; and then storing it deep underground.

Carbon capture and storage is generally considered to be a safe technology. Nevertheless, there are some risks associated with it that must be managed and addressed, including leakage, groundwater contamination, pipeline incidents, and health risks to personnel. Transporting CO2 from capture sites to storage sites via pipelines often takes place over large distances, and can pose a risk of accidents or leaks.

Generally, these risks can be managed and mitigated through careful project design, implementation, and monitoring, but not always.

The Challenge

The challenge, then, is to come up with a way of capturing carbon from the environment that avoids some or all of these risks by cutting out some of the processes involved. As ever, we have an ingenious solution in mind, but we’re interested to see what you come up with.