Stanford researchers lead work on leveraging BECCS for ethanol producers

April 24, 2018 |

In California, researchers at Stanford and other institutions have found new hope for cost-effective carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Their study, published April 23 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, runs the numbers on different options for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the U.S. and finds opportunities where it is not only commercially feasible with existing technology, but profitable.

While it seems straightforward, these technologies – known as bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration, or BECCS – have not been fully developed and many areas don’t have geology that’s suitable for storing CO2. What’s more, pipelines would need to be built to take CO2 from bioenergy plants to areas suitable for storage. There are also serious questions about how BECCS would scale globally and compete with plants grown for food production or impact ecosystems and biodiversity.

However, the group found that one type of BECCS technology could work immediately for U.S. ethanol producers. What’s more, given current and predicted future financial incentives, the approach could even turn a profit.

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Category: Research

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