To reduce the impacts of climate change due to greenhouse gases, many countries and businesses are moving towards carbon-neutrality.
One of these moves is decarbonization and the other is the use of clean energy such as hydrogen and renewable energy.
Microsoft recently announced its commitment to become carbon negative by 2030. Microsoft also said that it will remove more carbon from the environment than it has ever emitted in the past by 2050
Here are some of the technical terms related to decarbonization and clean energy.
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emissions created by a person or industry.
Carbon tax is tax paid by businesses and industries that produce carbon dioxide through their operations.
Carbon neutrality is a term used to describe the action of organizations, businesses, and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each put into it.
The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero-carbon footprint. For example, a business may plant trees in different places around the world to offset the electricity the business uses. This practice is often called carbon offset or offsetting.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
CCS is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide usually from large sources such as a factory or power plant, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, usually a subsurface rock formation.
Currently, there are less than 20 coal plants that use CCS technology to capture the produced carbon dioxide.
Carbon-neutral fuel is a fuel that has no net greenhouse gas emissions or carbon footprint. An example is a synthetic fuel produced by hydrogenating the carbon dioxide captured directly from the air.
Carbon Negative Fuels
Carbon negative fuels are fuels that take more carbon out of the environment than it generates.
Direct air capture is the process of capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air to produce a concentrated stream of CO2 for sequestration or utilization. In terms of utilization, as an example, the CO2 is being used to drive out reservoir oil in many CO2 miscible EOR projects around the world. The captured CO2 can also be used to produce carbon-neutral fuels by hydrogenating it with hydrogen.
Fuel cells are devices that convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electricity by electrochemical reactions. For example, hydrogen cars use fuel cells to convert the energy stored in the hydrogen into electrical energy for powering the car.
Greenhouse gases are gases that cause the greenhouse effect on our planet. The most common types of greenhouse gases are CO2, carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), Nitrous oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3).
The hydrogen economy is a situation where hydrogen is used as the major carrier of energy.
Renewable energy is any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power, that is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.
Renewable Natural Gas is produced by capturing methane emitted from the breakdown of organic wastes in landfills, wastewater and farms, and processing it into natural gas.
Net Zero Carbon Emission
Net zero carbon emission is a balance achieved when the amount of carbon that we emit is offset by the amount of carbon we remove from the atmosphere.
This glossary is curated by Jamin Djuang, a published author of “The Story of Oil and Gas: How Oil and Gas Are Explored, Drilled and Produced” written for readers who have not seen an oil field.