[INFOGRAPHIC] Capturing carbon: how it works
Neil deGrasse Tyson described it best: “Every creature on Earth does the same thing. We take in oxygen and then give out carbon dioxide, with the same breath. And while we're putting out CO2, trees and other plants are sucking it right up. They need it to survive!
“But with worldwide population growth and increased fossil fuel consumption, we're now putting out more CO2 than our trees and plants can absorb. And since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, there're fears that all this carbon dioxide is heating up our planet.”
Carbon dioxide is necessary for Earth to survive but too much works like a chemical blanket to trap heat and keep the planet nice and warm. This is known as global warming.
Make like a tree and…capture carbon?
Between 1970 and 2004, scientists estimate that global GHG emissions due to human activities increased 70 percent. In order to offset these emissions, many researchers believe carbon capturing is necessary.
Simply put, carbon capture is the process of separating CO2 from the exhaust of a power plant so it can be permanently stored.
“We are trying to mimic what a tree can do,” said Klaus Lackner, the director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions and a professor in School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. Lackner, a pioneer in carbon management, was one of the first to suggest the innovative technique.
“I believe that it is impossible to stop people from using the fossil fuels, so we need to develop technologies which allow us to use them without creating environmental havoc on the planet.”
The following infographic explains how carbon capturing works, and why it’s vital for our future.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.