Japanese multinational engineering Mitsubishi Heavy Industry is rolling out mini carbon capture devices for small-scale emitters.
So far, carbon capture technology has been aimed primarily at large-scale, industrial polluters that emit massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
And typically, wide-scale adoption of these systems comes with a very high price tag, potentially costing up to $500 million with special equipment and installation required.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), however, is on route to bring carbon capture to smaller emitters and drive costs down to make the technology more accessible.
As of next year, the company intends to introduce a whole line of modular carbon capture systems, ranging from small to medium-sized, each capable of capturing up to 95% of CO2 emissions from smaller emitters, such as ships, cement plants, waste incinerators, etc.
The first compact carbon capture system of this kind came into operation last month after being installed at a 7-megawatt (MW) class biomass power plant in Japan.
Its capacity is 0.3 metric tons of CO2 per day and the area it requires is only about 16 by 6.5 feet – significantly less than what is necessary for conventional carbon capture systems.
And the modular configuration of MHI’s system makes for easier transportation and installation compared to existing alternatives.
Up until now, it has been highly uneconomical for small scale plants to be equipped with current carbon capture technology, but hopes are that with the help of small, modular devices, such as the mini carbon capture developed by Mitsubishi Heavy, the practice will become more commercially viable.