Advanced CO2 Capture Technologies

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Advanced capture technologies encompass a range of innovative approaches and solutions aimed at improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of capturing CO2 from industrial sources. These technologies go beyond conventional methods, such as amine-based scrubbing, by exploring new materials, processes, and system designs.

Impact on climate action

Advanced Capture Technologies enhance CO2 Capture & Storage, crucial for mitigating climate change. These innovations optimize capture efficiency, reduce costs, and enable broader deployment across industries, accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. They bolster global efforts to curb CO2 emissions, fostering sustainable development and climate resilience.


Advanced capture technologies utilize various principles and concepts to enhance CO2 capture, including:

  • Novel Sorbents: Researchers are developing new solid sorbent materials with higher CO2 selectivity, adsorption capacity, and improved regeneration characteristics compared to traditional materials. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolites, and amine-functionalized materials are examples of promising sorbents.
  • Membrane Separation: Innovative membrane technologies are being developed to selectively permeate CO2 while rejecting other gases, offering a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional scrubbing methods.
  • Cryogenic Capture: This approach utilizes the differences in boiling points of various gases to separate and capture CO2 by cooling the flue gas stream to low temperatures.
  • Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC): This process involves using a metal oxide as an oxygen carrier to combust fuel in a separate reactor, producing a concentrated stream of CO2 for easier capture.
  • Electrochemical Capture: This emerging technology uses electrochemical methods to capture CO2 from flue gas streams, offering potential benefits in terms of efficiency and scalability.

TRL : Varies (from 4-5 to 7-8 depending on the specific technology)

Prominent Innovation themes

The field of advanced capture technologies is constantly evolving, with several innovations pushing the boundaries of CCS:

  • Biomimetic Capture: Inspired by biological processes, researchers are developing CO2 capture systems that mimic the efficient mechanisms found in nature, such as the enzyme carbonic anhydrase.
  • Hybrid Capture Systems: Combining different capture technologies, such as membranes and sorbents, can lead to enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Process Intensification: This approach focuses on designing more compact and efficient capture systems, reducing capital costs and footprint.
  • CO2 Capture and Utilization (CCU): Integrating CO2 capture with utilization technologies allows for the captured CO2 to be converted into valuable products, creating economic incentives for carbon removal.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Next-Generation Sorbent Materials
  • Membrane Innovation for CO2 Separation
  • Cryogenic Capture Advancements
  • Chemical Looping Combustion Breakthroughs
  • Electrochemical CO2 Capture Technologies
  • Biomimetic Inspired Capture Systems
  • Hybrid Capture System Integration
  • Compact Capture System Design
  • Cost-Effective Capture Solutions
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) Development
  • Zeolite-Based CO2 Sorbents
  • Amine-Functionalized Materials Enhancement
  • Selective CO2 Permeable Membranes
  • Energy-Efficient CO2 Separation Methods
  • Efficient CO2 Adsorption Technologies
  • Low-Temperature CO2 Capture Techniques
  • Oxygen Carrier Innovation for CLC

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  • C-Capture Ltd:
    • Technology Focus: C-Capture specializes in carbon capture technologies, particularly focusing on the development of novel materials and processes to capture carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources like power plants and factories.
    • Uniqueness: C-Capture’s uniqueness lies in its innovative approach to carbon capture, which may involve proprietary materials or processes that offer advantages such as higher efficiency, lower costs, or reduced environmental impact compared to traditional methods.
    • End-User Segments: Their solutions are primarily targeted towards industries with high carbon emissions, including power generation, cement production, steel manufacturing, and other heavy industries.
  • Svante:
    • Technology Focus: Svante is also engaged in carbon capture technology development, with a focus on direct air capture (DAC) systems. Their goal is to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, offering a scalable solution to combat climate change.
    • Uniqueness: Svante stands out for its dedication to direct air capture, which involves capturing CO2 from ambient air rather than from point sources. Their technology advancements may include improvements in capture efficiency, cost reduction, or integration with renewable energy sources.
    • End-User Segments: Their target segments include industries looking to offset their carbon emissions, governments pursuing climate mitigation strategies, and organizations committed to carbon neutrality or carbon removal.
  • Momento:
    • Technology Focus: Momento’s advanced capture technologies could encompass a range of applications, such as image or video capture, data capture, or document capture, with a focus on automation, accuracy, and efficiency.
    • Uniqueness: Momento’s uniqueness might lie in its innovative approaches to data or content capture, leveraging technologies like machine learning, computer vision, or natural language processing to enhance the speed and accuracy of information extraction.
    • End-User Segments: Their solutions could cater to industries and organizations with high volumes of data or content processing needs, such as finance, healthcare, legal, or government sectors, where efficient capture and analysis of information are critical.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Technology Enhancements: MIT researchers are working on advanced CO2 capture technologies that aim to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This includes novel solvent-based capture systems, membrane-based separation techniques, and solid sorbent materials capable of capturing CO2 from various emission sources, such as power plants and industrial facilities.
    • Uniqueness of Research: MIT’s approach involves a combination of experimental studies and computational modeling to optimize the performance of CO2 capture processes. They are also exploring innovative concepts such as direct air capture and mineralization of CO2 as means to permanently store captured carbon dioxide.
    • End-use Applications: The research outcomes from MIT have significant implications for mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Advanced CO2 capture technologies can be integrated into existing industrial processes and power plants to capture CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere. Captured CO2 can then be stored underground or utilized in various applications such as enhanced oil recovery and production of synthetic fuels.
  2. Stanford University:
    • Technology Enhancements: Stanford researchers are focusing on developing next-generation CO2 capture technologies that address key challenges such as energy consumption, scalability, and environmental impact. They are exploring innovative approaches such as electrochemical capture, where CO2 is captured directly from air or flue gas streams using electrochemical reactions.
    • Uniqueness of Research: Stanford’s research distinguishes itself by its emphasis on sustainable and low-energy CO2 capture methods. By leveraging principles of electrochemistry and materials science, they aim to design efficient and cost-effective capture systems that can be deployed at various scales, from industrial facilities to transportation vehicles.
    • End-use Applications: The advancements in CO2 capture technology from Stanford have broad applications in industries such as power generation, transportation, and manufacturing. Electrochemical capture systems, for example, can be integrated into fuel cell vehicles to capture CO2 emissions from vehicle exhaust and convert them into useful products such as synthetic fuels or building materials.
  3. University of California, Berkeley:
    • Technology Enhancements: Researchers at UC Berkeley are exploring novel materials and processes for CO2 capture and storage, including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), porous polymers, and chemical looping systems. They are investigating the design principles and synthesis methods to optimize the performance and stability of these materials for capturing CO2 from flue gas and industrial emissions.
    • Uniqueness of Research: UC Berkeley’s research stands out for its focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and holistic approaches to CO2 capture and storage. They are integrating concepts from chemistry, engineering, and environmental science to develop integrated capture and utilization strategies that minimize environmental impact and maximize economic value.
    • End-use Applications: The research outcomes from UC Berkeley have practical implications for decarbonizing various sectors of the economy, including power generation, cement production, and petrochemical refining. By developing advanced CO2 capture technologies, UC Berkeley is contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change and transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Several advanced capture technologies have reached commercial readiness and are being deployed in various industries:

  • C-Capture Ltd has partnered with Drax Power Station in the UK to demonstrate their solvent-based capture technology at a coal-fired power plant.
  • Svante has partnered with LafargeHolcim to deploy their structured adsorbent bed technology at a cement plant in Canada.
  • Momento is currently piloting their electrochemically mediated amine scrubbing technology at a power plant in the US.

The commercial implementation of these advanced technologies demonstrates the growing maturity and feasibility of CCS for reducing industrial emissions.