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CCUS: Road to carbon neutrality; how far has S. Korea come in terms of development?
Updated: 2021-11-03 09:49:42 KST
Carbon neutrality is basically bringing carbon emissions to zero.
There are several ways to do it.
First is reducing the amount of carbon emissions compared to current levels.
Like transitioning from coal power plants to LNG or liquefied natural gas power.
Second is producing zero carbon emissions by replacing all sources of CO2 with renewable energies.
But in reality, carbon cannot be eliminated entirely.

There's the carbon that already exists in the air.
And there will still be some CO2 emitted.
Even when developing cleaner energy sources like hydrogen.
This is where C-C-U-S or "carbon capture utilization and storage" comes in, to realize carbon neutrality.
It's the combination of C-C-S storing captured carbon underground and C-C-U upcycling the materials.
Fuel, diamonds, baking soda, and plastics are among those products that captured CO2 can produce.

South Korea has been actively developing the technologies, with KEPCO leading the country's efforts.
The company has been operating a C-C-U-S plant in the city of Boryeong.
The 10-megawat-facility is capable of capturing 2-hundred tons of CO2 everyday.

"One fully grown tree has been found to absorb 2-hundred-20 kilograms of CO2 each year. Because the facility can absorb 70-thousand tons each year that's equivalent to some 3 million trees."

KEPCO is using the captured carbon to making dry ice. as well as a catalyst for growing plants.
It's also making baking soda, and is planning to commercialize the product on a large scale.

"South Korea has now reached the same level as other advanced countries in terms of capturing CO2. But when it comes to utilization and storage, we are still lagging a bit behind."

But the researcher said the developments on storage and utilization will accelerate in the coming months, with the country's declaration to go carbon neutral.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
Reporter : kelee@arirang.com