Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for Biofuels

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Integrating CCS technologies with biofuel production facilities can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create negative-carbon biofuels. CCS involves capturing CO2 emissions from industrial processes and storing them underground or utilizing them for other purposes.

Impact on climate action

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for Biofuels in the Biofuels domain significantly advances climate action by capturing and storing CO2 emissions produced during biofuel production. By mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, this innovation promotes carbon neutrality and contributes to the transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon energy system.

Underlying
Technology

  • Carbon Capture: CCS technologies capture CO2 emissions from industrial processes, such as biofuel production, before they are released into the atmosphere. Different capture technologies exist, including post-combustion capture, pre-combustion capture, and oxy-fuel combustion.
  • Carbon Storage: Captured CO2 can be stored underground in geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. This prevents the CO2 from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
  • Carbon Utilization: Captured CO2 can also be utilized for other purposes, such as producing synthetic fuels, chemicals, and building materials. This creates a circular economy for carbon and reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

TRL : 6-7 (depending on the specific CCS technology)

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Direct Air Capture (DAC): DAC technologies capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere, offering a way to remove existing CO2 and create negative-carbon biofuels. Startups like Climeworks and Carbon Engineering are leading the development of DAC technologies.
  • Improved Capture Efficiency: Researchers and companies are developing new and improved carbon capture technologies with higher capture efficiencies and lower costs.
  • CO2 Utilization Technologies: Innovations in CO2 utilization technologies are expanding the range of products that can be made from captured CO2, creating new market opportunities and economic incentives for CCS deployment.
  • Monitoring and Verification Technologies: Technologies for monitoring and verifying CO2 storage are essential for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of CCS projects.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Enhanced Carbon Capture Efficiency
  • Advancements in Direct Air Capture (DAC) Technology
  • Integration of CCS with Biofuel Production
  • Next-Generation CO2 Utilization Innovations
  • Breakthroughs in Monitoring and Verification Systems
  • Novel Approaches to Geological CO2 Storage
  • Cutting-Edge Carbon Capture Materials
  • Innovations in CO2 Conversion Processes
  • Optimization of CCS for Biofuel Facilities
  • Integration of CCS with Renewable Energy Systems
  • Innovations in CO2 Transport Infrastructure
  • Carbon-Negative Biofuel Production Technologies
  • Tailored Carbon Capture Solutions for Industries
  • Novel Financing Models for CCS Projects

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  • Climeworks:
    • Technology Enhancement: Climeworks develops direct air capture (DAC) technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They utilize specialized sorbent materials and low-grade heat to capture CO2 from ambient air.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Climeworks’ DAC technology offers a scalable and modular solution for carbon removal, enabling the capture of CO2 from the atmosphere for utilization or permanent storage underground.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Climeworks serves industries seeking carbon removal solutions to mitigate climate change, including carbon offset markets, renewable energy projects, and industrial facilities aiming for carbon neutrality.
  • Carbon Engineering:
    • Technology Enhancement: Carbon Engineering focuses on direct air capture (DAC) and carbon removal technology. They use chemical processes to capture CO2 from ambient air and then concentrate it for utilization or storage.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology is designed to be integrated with industrial processes or used as a standalone facility to capture CO2 emissions directly from the atmosphere, providing a pathway for carbon neutrality.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Carbon Engineering serves industries seeking carbon removal solutions, including energy, transportation, manufacturing, and carbon offset markets. Their technology enables the decarbonization of various sectors by capturing and mitigating CO2 emissions.
  • Aker Carbon Capture:
    • Technology Enhancement: Aker Carbon Capture develops carbon capture technology for industrial emissions, including power plants, cement factories, and other industrial processes. They utilize solvent-based capture systems to capture CO2 from flue gases.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Aker Carbon Capture’s technology is designed to be integrated into existing industrial facilities, enabling the capture and storage of CO2 emissions at the source, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Aker Carbon Capture serves industries with significant CO2 emissions, including power generation, cement production, steel manufacturing, and oil refining. Their technology helps these industries reduce their carbon footprint and comply with emissions regulations.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  • University of California, Berkeley:
    • Research Focus: UC Berkeley conducts innovative research on integrating CCS technologies with biofuel production processes, focusing on capturing and storing CO2 emissions generated from biomass conversion and biofuel combustion.
    • Uniqueness: Their research often involves the development of novel carbon capture systems tailored for bioenergy facilities, as well as the exploration of geological storage options such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers.
    • End-use Applications: UC Berkeley’s work has applications in bioenergy production, climate change mitigation, and carbon management. For example, they’re researching post-combustion carbon capture technologies for biorefineries and exploring enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques using captured CO2 for sustainable oil extraction.
  • Stanford University:
    • Research Focus: Stanford University is a leader in CCS research, investigating advanced capture, utilization, and storage methods for mitigating CO2 emissions from biofuel production and utilization pathways.
    • Uniqueness: Their research often involves interdisciplinary collaborations, combining expertise in chemistry, engineering, and environmental science to develop innovative CCS solutions tailored for bioenergy systems.
    • End-use Applications: Their work finds applications in renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and sustainable development. For instance, they’re researching chemical absorption processes for capturing CO2 from biomass gasification or fermentation processes and exploring geological storage sites with enhanced monitoring and verification techniques.
  • Imperial College London:
    • Research Focus: Imperial College London conducts cutting-edge research on CCS technologies, exploring novel approaches for capturing, transporting, and storing CO2 emissions from biofuel production facilities and power plants.
    • Uniqueness: Their research often involves the optimization of CCS processes and infrastructure, as well as the assessment of environmental and economic implications of large-scale deployment of CCS in bioenergy value chains.
    • End-use Applications: Their work has applications in energy security, decarbonization, and industrial emissions reduction. For example, they’re researching solvent-based carbon capture technologies for biorefineries and investigating CO2 storage mechanisms such as mineralization and enhanced weathering for long-term carbon sequestration.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

CCS technologies are being implemented in various industrial sectors, but their integration with biofuel production facilities is still in its early stages.