Spain expects to mainstream carbon dioxide capture and storage by 2020
“Eliminating carbon emissions from the industry” As simple as that is the ultimate objective of the CO2 Spanish Technological Platform, PTECO2. 34 companies and 36 universities and research entities are members of this alliance.
The association has already completed a technological roadmap for Spain, a plan targetting different lines of research to be implemented in the short and medium term.
One of their first objectives is to open up an experimental plant called CIUDEN in the region of El Bierzo (Northwestern Spain) designed to develop and validate various technologies for capturing CO2 from gas combustion in fossil fuel stations. The second step will be to inaugurate a commercial demonstration plant by 2015 and to develop high efficiency plants in a massive scale by 2020.
A researcher from the Spanish Coal Institute, Juan Carlos Abanades, assures that «these are existing technologies, not science-fiction”. He is talking mainly about carbon capture, where the current challenge is to bring down the cost per ton of sequestered CO2. Nowadays, costs are in a range between 38 to 77 dollars. THe goal for the next two decades is to bring it down to 19 dollars.
The biggest challenge right now is a comprehensive geological study of the underground in the different areas of the country to find the sites where the gas may be injected safely in a supercritical fluid state.
There is also the possibility of reusing the gas, turning it into biofuels or extracting hydrogen from it.
Representatives from the CO2 Platform suggest that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could reduce emissions in industrialised countries by 50 to 80 percent by the year 2050.