Carbon Sequestration From Waste Through Conversion to Charcoal: Equipment for a Small-Scale Operation
- Subodh C. Gupta (Cenovus Energy) | Arnoud Struyk (AST) | Denis Gilbert (GTEC)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 225 - 231
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 5.10.1 CO2 Capture and Sequestration, 4.3.4 Scale
- biochar, Camp, sequestration, charcoal, Municipal waste
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 212 since 2007
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Carbon emitted on account of our continued use of fossil fuel can be offset using carbon capture and storage (CCS). The technology for this exists, but the economics of it is context dependent, and CCS has shown itself to be not very cost effective in oil sands. Committing to the large-scale sequestration projects needed without properly considering alternatives can prove costly at both the economic and social levels. Charcoal sequestration, discussed earlier by Gupta, provides a few advantages, such as being less costly and lacking any post-operation liabilities. Above all, it is reversible, allowing flexibility of policy and operation and avoiding long-term or large-scale commitments.
The economics of the charcoal approach mainly depends on two factors--the cost of the feed biomass and the cost of processing. The first of these is addressed by using municipal waste as feedstock, which can be available free of charge. Expectedly, the cost of processing, the second factor, depends on the apparatus and the scale of operation.
In this paper, the authors discuss the benefits and drawbacks of prominent traditional and modern apparatus used for conversion of biomass to charcoal and describe a simple and pragmatic apparatus that could be assembled relatively easily for a small-scale operation such as processing industrial-camp-generated solid organic waste.
Offsetting carbon in this manner obviously can be a good way to initiate demonstration projects for the charcoal-sequestration approach because it also helps with waste management. These demonstration projects in turn will help evaluate various aspects of this novel method of sequestration and enhance public awareness on the subject, which in turn will help society make an informed choice to embark on a correct course of action for atmospheric carbon abatement. Additionally, in light of the growing per capita waste worldwide, use of municipal waste as feedstock for charcoal sequestration can be a significant measure of carbon offset at global scale in its own right.
|File Size||5 MB||Number of Pages||7|
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