Once upon a time, humans came to earth. These humans lived their lives on Earth. Although they didn’t realise it, they were living with the help of a small molecule called carbon dioxide. But these humans were ignorant. They didn’t care about their surroundings or the world. Their discoveries, devices and technology, which were used unwisely, had become the cause of climate change - a problem of today’s world. But suddenly, the main ‘villain’ of this story, where humans’ entire existence may be ruined, became that Carbon Dioxide that had helped them live. This villain, however, was and has been a blessing to us since the dawn of time. Without it, we would not survive, but with it today, we may even die. So the question is, how do we stop this blessing from becoming a curse? Well, why don't we use the technology, the weapon that harmed the very people who made it, to resolve our problems?
If Carbon dioxide is harmful when it is in the atmosphere in excess, the simple short solution even a five-year-old will come up with is taking some of it out of the atmosphere. But how would you do that? With the heroes of this story carbon capture and sequestration. Let us take a look at how these heroes can become our technological fix for climate change.
Carbon capture is, simply put, trapping carbon dioxide so that it cannot affect the atmosphere. Carbon capture can be done in many ways, but let us look at two simple ways for the sake of understanding.
One of the most basic ways is the pre-combustion process. The fuel is converted to a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and CO2 which will be separated. Then the hydrogen is burnt, and it does not emit any carbon dioxide. Although this sounds simple, it actually requires advanced power plants and equipment which costs a lot. But this might definitely be part of the actions in our war against climate change.
Another simple method is the post-combustion process. The carbon dioxide is separated from the combustion exhaust gases with the help of a liquid solvent or any other method used in this process. These methods are for the sole purpose of preventing large amounts of carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere. With the help of advancing technology and new discoveries in our science fields, the world is one step closer to healing from the dangerous disease of climate change.
But then you may ask, where does the carbon dioxide go? That’s where our other friend, carbon sequestration, comes to the rescue. Carbon sequestration is the process of storing carbon dioxide after it is removed from the atmosphere. Although this can be done in many ways, technology has played an important role in our lives, and there is no doubt we can rely on it to help us in this situation as well.
If we take a closer look at how technology plays a role in this, we will see that carbon sequestration can be done, and we can use CO2 as a resource. Graphene production is a small example of how CO2 can be used as a resource. Graphene is a technological material used in the production of screens of smartphones and other devices we use every day. This material can be produced with the use of stored CO2. This is just one of the many countless ways we can use carbon dioxide through carbon sequestration effectively.
Of course, carbon dioxide has been considered a villain since climate change began, but we need to remember that in such an advanced world, we need to find and fix our problems instead of pushing it aside. Carbon capture and sequestration are small, simple steps we can take to solve and mitigate climate change, which is why I believe carbon capture and sequestration is definitely a technological fix for climate change.
“CAPTURING CO2.” Global CCS Institute, https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Global-CCS-Institute-Fact-Sheet_Capturing-CO2.pdf.
“Carbon Sequestration - Technological Carbon Sequestration.” UC Davis, 5 November 2021, https://www.ucdavis.edu/climate/definitions/carbon-sequestration/technological.
“What is carbon sequestration?” National Grid, https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/what-carbon-sequestration.
"Carbon Capture VS Carbon Sequestration." Impactful Ninja
"Carbon capture technology has been around for decades — here’s why it hasn’t taken off." CNBC, Clifford, C. 2021, February 1)
Fathimath Saara Nazeer is a 14 year old living in Male’, Maldives. She is currently studying in the 8th Grade at Jamaluddin School. She is also taking part in the 2023 Leaders of Tomorrow Programme by theCircle of Ugail Foundation. She is a smart, friendly and kind person who loves reading books. Saara has been a fan of the Harry Potter books (a huge Potterhead!) ever since she was 6 years old. She loves taking part in oratory competitions and any school activity possible. Apart from studying, Saara loves to solve puzzles, bake and read mystery and fantasy genre books. She wants to excel in the science field one day.
Cite this article as:
Fathimath Saara Nazeer, Capture the Carbon - Cease Climate Change, theCircle Composition, Volume 4, (2023).