Devices which capture carbon dioxide are not new; however, UT Austin’s technology makes the process cheaper and more effective. As a team, UT Austin will add their breakthrough solvent mixture to Honeywell’s carbon capture devices.
Through Honeywell’s devices, carbon is removed from the atmosphere and stored or repurposed at a later time. Often, the carbon is sequestered with solvent and stored deep underground in the earth.
According to Honeywell, their CO2 Solutions program has the ability to capture 40 million tons of CO2 throughout the world. Honeywell currently only captures around 15 million tons per year but hopes UT Austin’s partnership will assist in the project.
Carbon removal facilities are placed near or inside polluting plants, such as those in the metal or concrete industry. Honeywell states that “For a typical power plant (650 MW capacity), applying advanced solvent carbon-capture technology would enable the capture of about 3.4 million tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing nearly 735,000 cars from the road each year.”
These carbon removal plants may seem like a win-win solution for climate change, but a major issue has halted the production of such plants. According to the Department of Energy, some fully-outfitted carbon capture plants can cost up to $400-500 million.
The solvent created by UT Austin seeks to lower the cost of some of these facilities. UT Austin hopes new advancements will allow the concept of carbon capture to be scaled up worldwide.
This technology is yet to appear in the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario. The IEA SDS outlines how to reduce carbon emissions in government and private sectors.
By 2030, the carbon capture program must increase its capacity by 20 times to qualify for the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario. There is still hope, however, and UT Austin’s technology is making strides in the fight against climate change.