Climate Now
Climate Now
Jun 20, 2022
Is there a profitable approach to carbon capture and storage?
Play • 32 min

In the international carbon offset market, the average price of removing one tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere is still below $15 USD, nowhere near enough to cover the costs of carbon capture and storage (CCS). As Dr. Sheila Olmstead (University of Texas, Austin) explained in a recent Climate Now podcast episode, this is why CCS is one of the few climate technologies not experiencing exponential growth. “Unless there's a market for captured CO2, then it doesn't make economic sense… to adopt these carbon capture technologies.” 

But what if, instead of making captured CO2 the only marketable product, the capture is accomplished while also producing other goods and services?

Climate Now spoke with three pioneers developing startup programs in California that plan to use biowaste (that is, agricultural residues or vegetation cleared from forests to increase their resiliency to drought, fire or infestation) to produce hydrogen fuel and CO2. The technique is called 'bioenergy and carbon capture and storage,' or BECCS. The hydrogen can be sold and the CO2 captured and stored underground. Join us for our discussion with George Peridas of Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Jonathan Kusel of the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, and Josh Stolaroff of Mote, to hear how this approach could make CCS economically feasible, perhaps even profitable, while also providing a benefit to local communities already experiencing the worst impacts of climate change, and an essential service for the well-being of our planet.

01:40 - Introduction to BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage)
02:06 - Introduction to BICRS (biomass carbon removal and storage)
03:10 - Quick overview of carbon capture utilization and storage
04:50 - Challenges of carbon capture 
05:27 - George Peridas and Jonathan Kusel on the Indian Valley Wood Utilization Campus project
14:57 - The importance of hydrogen
15:47 - Joshuah Stolaroff explains how to produce hydrogen using waste biomass
17:20 - Introduction to Mote
28:41 - Carbon capture skepticism and risks

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