Renewable Energy

Carbon Capture Technology Is Ramping Up

I base my beliefs on data, not speculation or hearsay. I’ve done this throughout my entire career.

And that’s why I believe in climate change and its impact on our planet.

I’m not trying to influence your thinking on this subject. But there’s an investment opportunity here.

Climate change’s impacts are generally described as “global warming” or “the greenhouse effect.” These effects manifest as stronger and more frequent hurricanes, uncontrollable wildfires, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, epic flooding and, of course, higher temperatures.

These are all symptoms of an unbalanced planet. Can we get this under control?

Yes, we can.

How Long Have Scientists Known About Climate Change?

Twenty years? Thirty years? Fifty?

Nope. Nearly 200 years.

In 1824, French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier proposed the existence of the greenhouse effect. That’s a process during which radiation from the Earth’s atmosphere warms its surface temperature.

Light energy from the sun warms Earth’s surface. Some of that energy is reflected back, warming our atmosphere.

This process is critical to maintaining a livable temperature range on Earth. Without it, life would cease to exist.

Not enough reflection would cool the planet and we would all freeze. What we have now, too much reflection, overheats the planet.

When we increase the levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), like carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane, they reflect more heat back to the Earth’s surface.

When we reduce the levels of carbon dioxide and methane, we reduce that warming effect.

But How Can We Reduce Carbon Dioxide?

There are plenty of ways to do that. Let’s look at where GHGs come from.
Greenhouse ChartThe transportation and electricity sectors are responsible for 55% of all GHG emissions. Burning fossil fuels creates a lot of GHGs.

Moving to renewable energy and electric vehicles can help reduce GHGs. But we can’t transition to them overnight.

There are other ways to reduce GHGs. One method often discussed is carbon capture and storage (CCS). It’s also known as carbon sequestration, carbon scrubbing and clean coal technology.

This technology can capture about 90% of the carbon dioxide produced when we burn fossil fuels in industrial processes and electricity generation.

CCS is a three-part process.

First, the carbon dioxide has to be captured. This can happen before or after combustion. Current technologies can separate carbon dioxide from exhaust gases produced in industrial processes and electricity generation.

Once it’s captured, carbon dioxide is transported via pipeline or ship. We’ve been doing this for more than four decades for some commercial uses.

Finally, we have to store the captured carbon dioxide somewhere. Today, it’s stored in porous rock formations a mile or more under the Earth’s surface.

Some suitable sites are old crude oil and natural gas fields. Others are deep saline formations.

These are porous rocks that contain salt water. Once injected, the carbon dioxide eventually works its way up to a solid layer of rock that it can’t pass through.

Investors, Take Note

Unfortunately, most of the companies focused on CCS are private. But several of the big oil companies, including Chevron(NYSE: CVX), Royal Dutch Shell(NYSE: RDS) and NRG Energy(NYSE: NRG), have active CCS pilot projects underway.

The company that I believe has the most experience with carbon dioxide capture is Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD). It has designed and built a carbon dioxide capture system in Port Arthur, Texas.

It has many other carbon dioxide capture technologies in development. These include the decarbonization of gas turbine fuels.

A number of oil companies are supporting Air Products’ research and development efforts in CCS. After all, it’s in their best interests to do so.

I think CCS could be one of Air Products’ biggest growth areas over the next 10 years. You might want to consider investing in this sector now while it’s still in its nascent stages.

Good investing,