Carbon Capture: A CleanTech Opportunity

By: Fatema Fatakdawala

Whenever we hear about climate changes or the burning of fossil fuels, the first two words that come to mind are ‘global warming’. Over the years, both government policies and clean tech business ideas have been suggested and even implemented to combat this problem – has it worked? Well, that’s debatable.

On October 17th 2012, the Altitude Accelerator will host a Recycling Innovation Competition at the Mississauga Central Library. This initiative is to encourage the growth of environmental and clean technology startups in the Peel Region.

One of the many solutions to global warming is carbon capture and storage (CCS); the ability to capture large amounts of carbon dioxide and store it permanently in deep underground rock formations. Unfortunately, the CCS technology comes at a high price and several technical uncertainties making it less ideal for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, CCS must supply over one fifth of the emission reductions needed by 2050 to match targets to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C – this translates to a minimum addition of 110 projects at power plants by 2020.

However, for efficient CCS, of the many candidate reservoirs within deep saline aquifers, low permeability may be an issue. In other words, injecting carbon dioxide into unstable sites may cause fluid pressure changes that can induce earthquakes.

An innovation in CCS to get around this is known as enhanced oil recovery. This method can store up to 20 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in an economical fashion. John Litynki from the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) says, “You’ve got a market driver with the oil production and you’ve got really well understood reservoirs for storage…it’s probably going to be the first mover.”

Read more on Technology Review

Fatema joins the RIC team as the Communications Officer responsible for marketing, social media, event and web management. She is a graduate student pursuing her final year in the Master of Biotechnology program at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit Altitude Accelerator for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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