Mitsubishi Heavy Industries installs its first compact capture unit with the capacity to absorb up to 300kg of CO2 a day at its Hiroshima biomass power plant and prepares to launch more in 2023.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is working to address the global climate crisis with compact carbon capture units, aiming to release its own line of the units for sale in 2023. The Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment, and electronics corporation’s carbon capture, utility, and storage (CCUS) units will primarily be used to trap carbon dioxide produced by thermal power plants and large factories which can then be either stored or repurposed into other products.
As these CCUS systems have traditionally been large scale and implemented by oil companies or steelmakers, MHI is making their smaller units more accessible across industries and even for smaller businesses. Mitsubishi’s smallest unit at the moment occupies 10 sq. meters of land, with its first edition installed already at a biomass power plant in Hiroshima prefecture in June.
Taihei Dengyo, the builder and operator of the Hiroshima plant, shared that “smaller amounts of captured carbon are easier to handle and can be used up in agriculture or forestry applications, whereas larger amounts require the installation of costly storage facilities
The unit, which took only two days to install, processes emissions produced from the plant’s wood chip burning, extracting 300kg of CO2 daily, accounting for about 0.3% of its total emissions. The captured CO2 is then transported to two of the plant’s greenhouses where tomatoes and strawberries are being grown.
Mitsubishi shared that interest in carbon capture technology is expanding beyond its traditional investors, especially in industries which have technological or cost barriers to reducing emissions. As awareness of sustainability grows across the Asia Pacific region (APAC), pressure to adopt carbon capturing measures has also contributed to this demand.
Having already installed 13 larger scale CCUS systems across the globe, Mitsubishi’s products trap 70% of the carbon captured, however these units, which can capture up to 4,700 tonnes daily, are expensive and take up to four years to install. The company’s aim for their compact units is to mass produce them to be easily transported and installed, with potential applications on ships, garbage incineration plants, and gas-fueled power plants.
Although carbon capturing technology holds potential for minimising emissions, there is still debate as to whether it is an efficient long term solution to climate change. Although annual capture capacity reached above 40 million tonnes last year, this number needs to increase fortyfold by 2030 to align with 2050 net-zero goals.
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