The world is undergoing a renewable energy revolution, though renewables cannot provide enough power for a fully carbon-free energy economy. The burning of fossil fuels will continue for the next two decades to meet our (still growing) energy demands, releasing gigatons of CO2 into the environment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ICPP) has concluded that the removal of 20 gigatons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere by the year 2050 will limit catastrophic warming by the year 2100. Carbon capture is a process that removes CO2 before or after a fuel is burned to make power. This talk provides an overview of carbon capture, with an emphasis on the technical challenges, the energy burdens, equipment costs, and most importantly the scale of carbon capture infrastructure.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Community Science and Technology Seminar Series was launched to help the general public better understand and explore how science transforms our world.