Energy Excursions

CCUS Can Cut Heavy Industry Emissions

Achieving deep emissions reductions in heavy industry (cement, steel and chemicals production) can be challenging for several reasons. But IEA has found CCUS is a relatively advanced and cost-competitive option for dramatically cutting the CO2 emitted during the production of these essential materials. It can also be more cost-effective to retrofit CCUS to existing facilities than building new capacity with alternative technologies.1IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

In the case of cement production, where two-thirds of emissions are from chemical reactions related to heating limestone (rather than burning fossil fuels), CCUS is currently the only scalable solution for reducing emissions. And in the iron and steel sector, production routes based on CCUS are currently the most advanced and least-cost low-carbon options. Incorporating CO2 capture raises estimated costs by less than 10%, while approaches based on electrolytic hydrogen can raise costs by 35-70% compared with today’s conventional production methods.2IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

CCUS is currently the cheapest option for reducing emissions in the production of some important chemicals such as ammonia, which is widely used in fertilizers. The estimated costs of CCUS-equipped ammonia and methanol production based on natural gas are around 20-40% higher than their unabated counterparts, while the cost of electrolytic hydrogen routes is estimated to be 50-115% higher.3IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

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