44.01 Carbon Capture and Storage

Salt Creek Falls in United States. Photo by Andrew Coelho on Unsplash

Is this the future to purify our Atmosphere from Carbon Dioxide (CO2)?

Here at Voyage Fair Trade, we are working hard to keep our emissions to a minimum. The fair trade products are recycled from items already on our planet, and we are expanding our range of sustainable, eco-friendly products including eco-essentials everyday products which all smell delicious in the shop and are available online

The United Nations have stated that:

Removing CO2 is essential if we are to limit Global Warming and as we know, 2022 was our hottest year on record.

 Power Plant emitting CO2 on a hot day         Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash Published on May 12, 2019

What is 44.01? It is the molecular weight of carbon dioxide (CO2), and it is also the name of the company that won the Earthshot prize in December 2022! 44.01 have come up with a ground breaking method of storing CO2. To understand why this is so amazing, we need to look at conventional methods of capturing and storage. At the moment, CO2 is captured at points of pollution such as fossil fuel plants, as it is near impossible to capture from transportation. However there are 3 methods currently dealing with getting rid of CO2.

Method 1: Carbon Absorption

Developed in Norway in 1996, is a post combustion method which requires channelling combustion exhaust produced at power plants, and the chemical Amine to separate CO2 from other gasses. Pure carbon is then compressed and transported to the site of under ground storage.

Method 2: Chemical Looping

This aims to create pure CO2 during combustion. It is combusted with pure oxygen as a substitute for air so is based on chemical reactions - oxidation and reduction. This process has the potential to capture 100% of CO2 at the point of source. As with carbon absorption, the carbon is compressed and transported to underground storage.

Method 3: Direct Air Capture (DAC)

At the moment is the preferred method of world leaders as it is less restrictive, although the most expensive option. It is a technology that uses chemical reactions to pull CO2 out of the air. If When air passes over the chemicals they selectively react and trap the CO2. If you want to read more about DAC you can read this report, but please be aware it is 100 pages long! Pure CO2 is then compressed and transported to underground storage.

The company 44.01 from Oman

A beautiful sight from the country Oman 
Published on Photo by Lena Balk

44.01 based in Oman, captures CO2 using the Direct Air Capture method, but it is the storage method that they have evolved that is so much safer, with no need for high pressure under ground storage, and no risk of leaks. Once the CO2 is captured, it is mixed with water and syringed into peridotite rock formations deep underground. This is naturally occurring process, of mineralisation, which left to nature takes decades. 44.01 Can speed up the process which now takes under 12 months. There are trillions of tons of peridotite across America, Europe, Asia and Australia and each ton of Peridotite can mineralise 500-600kg of CO2 so 44.01 could potentially remove as much as 1 billion tons of CO2 annually!

Rock in Mosque, Al Hamriya, Muscat, Oman
Mosque, Al Hamriya, Muscat, Oman, published on Photo by Anfal Shamsudeen

If you have got this far, hopefully you have found this as fascinating as I have!!, but being inquisitive, I wondered how this company (or others in this field of work) make money, so after some research I found out that for every ton of captured CO2, a valuable Carbon Credit is issued, which can be sold on the open market . The concept of carbon credits was created in 1997 from the United Nations Kyoto Protocol which was the first international plan to reduce carbon emissions and create a market for decarbonisation. A carbon credit is a permit that allows another company to emit carbon above their mandated amount, 

 At the moment only 0.1% of carbon emissions are captured globally every year which sounds incredibly low, but we must remember that Carbon Capture evolved in the late 1990's whilst we have to travel back as far as 1760 to the beginning of the industrial revolution when mass pollution started


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