CCS is a technology with a very great potential for slashing CO2 emissions. This is especially true since fossil fuels and raw materials, for a long time to come, will form the backbone of a society2 s supply of electricity, heat, fuels and material products. In addition, for many industrial processes, CCS is the only way to obtain minimal CO2 emissions. Accordingly, CCS or CO2 capture as sub-technology can become an important module in CO2 management for the chemical industry as well.
Before commercial maturity is reached, however, considerable development work must still be done and experience gained. The carbon capture processes, for instance, must be tested and optimized for each application. For processes in the chemical industry, the special deployment options and marginal conditions should be considered early on, so that suitable technologies and methods required for capturing carbon are developed. The concepts of power plant engineering can act as basis and incubator of ideas. In technical terms, besides carbon capture itself, the operation of a plant, too, constitutes a new challenge when viewed against the background of an interplay of all components in the CCS chain.
Depending on site conditions, and taking account of other CCS projects, concepts for transporting the CO 2 must be developed. In this respect, the chemical industry will not erect its own transport infrastructure; what matters for the chemical industry is a link-up to the infrastructure that is to be created for the power plant sector with its much larger CO2 quantities. An early commitment here can help ensure that the concerns of the chemical industry are taken into account, for example, when it comes to pipeline routes and capacities. For CO2 storage, too, as part of the CCS infrastructure, the chemical industry will follow on from the work of the power plant operators.
CCS or carbon capture can also become a component of a future alternative raw-material supply. Coal gasification in conjunction with CCS delivers a synthesis gas or basic raw materials, like methanol, naphtha and others without increasing CO2 emissions. Captured carbon can serve as C1 module.
Besides the direct application of CCS technology, new business fields open up for the chemical industry. CCS requires new chemicals and materials for the various separation jobs.
What is important is that the chemical industry commits itself early on to resolving the technical issues in good time. All industries wishing to use CCS in future should ensure that their interests find their way into the underlying conditions to be created at the time when these are being defined, for example, in CCS legislation and approval law. Besides technical requirements, there are also issues of liability and security, that is, parameters that can directly decide economic efficiency. An early, visible and supportive commitment on behalf of CCS technology is also advisable, so that, in view of the public and political dimension, opportunities are improved for implementing this important option for climate protection.
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