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Carbon Capture for Construction


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4 minutes

The UK government has set plans for the Construction Industry to help in the Race to Zero, and as we have already discussed how you can Building energy-efficient homes, and decarbonisation for the Construction Industry. In this article, we will focus on Carbon Capture and Storage in the Construction Industry by answering the following questions: What is Carbon Capture and Storage? and What are the benefits of using Carbon Capture and Storage in the Construction Industry? Keep reading to learn about how you can lower carbon emissions to help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!


Carbon Capture and Storage, also abbreviated to CCS and alternatively known as carbon capture and sequestration, is referred to as the process of trapping Carbon Dioxide (a greenhouse gas) produced by burning fossil fuels or other chemicals or biological process and then storing it long-term either deep underground, deep in the ocean, or in mineral storage, in a way that it is unable to affect the atmosphere.

The methods involved are:

  • Post Combustion: The removal of CO2 from the flue gases formed from burning fossil fuels
  • Pre-Combustion: This is carried out before the fossil fuel is burnt by converting the fuel into a mixture of CO2 and hydrogen
  • Oxyfuel: Burns fossil fuels in almost pure oxygen to create CO2 and steam

CCS consists of three stages:

  1. Capture: CO2 is captured and is separated from other gases that are produced during industrial processes, e.g. those of cement or steel factories or natural gas and coal-fired power plants
  2. Transport: The CO2 is then compressed into a liquid or kept as a gas before being transported to a storage site
  3. Storage: The CO2 is transported to a storage site and stored away permanently from the atmosphere


According to the <a href="" class="white--text" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">UK Green Building Council</a>, the built environment contributes around 40% of the UK's total carbon emissions. And 10% of direct emissions in existing buildings results from heating.

Lowering carbon dioxide emissions has become essential to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement of keeping Earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius. And so with prioritised efforts to produce more energy-efficient buildings, improve sustainability in construction, and countries joining together in the Race to Zero with a pledge to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, leading international authorities such as: the UK's Committee on Climate Change (CCC), US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have all verified that Carbon Capture and Storage is a proven climate change measure that plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, permanently and cost-effectively.

Therefore, with CCS technology being used to address global warming, the UK government has already taken the initiative with the announcement of the phasing out of phase out unabated coal by 2025 that refers to coal burnt in power plants not fitted with CCS. And so in the efforts of creating a greener future with the help of CCS technology, we list several benefits of implementing CCS into the Construction Industry:

  • Strengthens concrete: The captured CO2 could be used to strengthen concrete and increase infrastructure durability as a team from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a system that transforms CO2 into blocks of concrete with the vision of creating a sustainable and environmentally responsible construction ecosystem
  • Increases employment: The Construction Industry can implement CCS operations resulting in the creation of new jobs and increasing employment opportunities for skilled technicians and managers
  • Generates renewable geothermal energy: During the Carbon Capture and storage process, when the CO2 is pressurised into a fluid, the CO2-based steam cycles can take less energy to compress steam and transfer heat, helping renewable energies such as wind turbines run more efficiently. As well as, geologically stored CO2 could be used to extract geothermal heat from the same locations in which it’s stored to produce renewable geothermal energy
  • Produces chemicals: The captured CO2 could be used in manufacturing operations to make chemicals and plastics, such as polyurethanes that are used to produce soft foams like those used in mattresses
  • Saves the planet: CCS technology can capture up to 90% of CO2 released by burning fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes like steel or cement production according to TWI. Therefore, helping us to save the plant with its ability to reduce significantly toxic carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere

Alongside CCS, there are other strategies the Construction Industry has been trying to adopt In order to meet the UK governments Net Zero emission targets and reduce the level of CO2 generated by construction operations, which include:

  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials
  • Incorporating smart technology
  • Cutting down on transportation with the use of offsite construction
  • Optimising materials to low-carbon, sustainable materials

In our Decarbonisation for the Construction Industry article, you can read in more detail about the strategies being implemented for a greener future.

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