Carbon can be used as a raw material in industrial processes, such as in the manufacture of building materials and chemicals.
Carbon can be used as a raw material in industrial processes, such as in the manufacture of building materials and chemicals. istock/vm

Headline: Identification and analysis of promising technologies for carbon capture and use (CCU)

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For several years, researchers have been looking into ways to use carbon as a raw material in industrial processes, such as manufacturing building components and chemicals. Some technologies for carbon recycling (Carbon Capture and Utilization or CCU) are already quite developed and could be scaled up in the foreseeable future to the industrial scale; others are still in the lab or pilot projects. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) has asked consulting firm Ramboll (project director), the IASS, and the University of Kassel to produce a study to identify and analyse promising CCU technologies. Regulation aspects are included in the analysis.

Which CCU technologies should the EU promote?

The study aims to analyse the status and further development of various CCU technologies and to identify those that should receive support from the European Union's ETS Innovation Fund and other funds. In addition, the researchers are investigating previous EU regulations on CCU technologies. The goal is to determine how they could be amended or expanded so that these innovative climate action technologies can play a bigger role. One important aspect is the inclusion of the various interest groups in order to promote an understanding of the technologies and their legislative frameworks. These goals will be pursued in three work packages:

  • Technology assessment is mainly based on previously published studies. Because the data available are limited, interviews are being held with stakeholders and industry representatives, who will also provide additional data.
  • The analysis of legal frameworks is based on the findings from the technology assessment; case studies are being prepared on the technological applications with the most positive assessments. Here, the researchers include the opinions of stakeholders along with rules and regulations.
  • Stakeholder engagement is a part of every step in the study. On the one hand, this approach fills data gaps; on the other, it allows for a wide range of interest groups to take part in the relevant EU legislative processes.

With this study, the researchers help the European Commission/DG CLIMA to decide whether and how CCU technologies can be used more as climate protection tools and receive greater support in the future.