April 13, 2024

Innovative Approach Combines Geothermal Energy and Carbon Capture to Combat Climate Change

Researchers have recently introduced a novel method for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, driven by clean and cost-effective geothermal energy. Published in Environmental Research Letters, the study proposes integrating Direct Air Carbon Dioxide Capture (DACC) technologies with geothermal energy to enable large-scale carbon dioxide removal and safe underground storage.

Carbon dioxide is a primary greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels for various human activities such as heating, electricity, and transportation. As this accumulation significantly contributes to climate change, efforts have been concentrated on extracting carbon dioxide either at the emission source or directly from the air.

Lead author Martina Leveni, a postdoctoral scholar at The Ohio State University, highlighted the importance of carbon removal technologies in addressing challenging emissions that are otherwise difficult to mitigate through conventional methods. The researchers explored the potential synergies between DACC and geothermal energy to enhance efficiency in achieving the common goal of carbon dioxide removal.

While typical DACC methods are costly and energy-intensive, Leveni’s proposed Direct Air CO2 Capture with CO2 Utilization and Storage (DACCUS) leverages the natural heat reservoirs in deep saline aquifers to generate renewable energy for DACC systems. The captured carbon dioxide is sequestered in underground geologic formations, with a portion circulated to extract geothermal heat. This process enables the production of renewable energy that can be utilized directly or converted into electricity to power the system.

Co-author Jeff Bielicki emphasized the significance of addressing the energy consumption associated with such systems to minimize additional greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal energy, known for its minimal carbon footprint, aligns with the proposed approach as it utilizes carbon dioxide, further reducing its environmental impact.

The integration of geothermal energy and carbon capture technologies presents a promising solution to combat climate change effectively. By harnessing the Earth’s natural resources, this innovative approach offers a sustainable and climate-friendly method of capturing and storing carbon dioxide, paving the way for a cleaner and greener future.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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