Prospects for CO2 capture in European industry
Journal article, 2011

Purpose – The aim of this study is to assess the role of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technologies in the reduction of CO2 emissions from European industries. Design/methodology/approach – A database covering all industrial installations included in the EU ETS has been created. Potential capture sources have been identified and the potential for CO2 capture has been estimated based on branch- and plant-specific conditions. Emphasis is placed here on three branches of industry with promising prospects for CCS: mineral oil refineries, iron and steel, and cement manufacturers. Findings – A relatively small number (~270) of large installations (>500,000?tCO2/year) dominates emissions from the three branches investigated in this study. Together these installations emit 432?MtCO2/year, 8 percent of EU's total greenhouse gas emissions. If the full potential of emerging CO2 capture technologies was realized, some 270-330?MtCO2 emissions could be avoided annually. Further, several regions have been singled out as particularly suitable to facilitate integrated CO2 transport networks. The most promising prospects for an early deployment of CCS are found in the regions bordering the North Sea. Research limitations/implications – Replacement/retrofitting of the existing plant stock will involve large investments and deployment will take time. It is thus important to consider how the current industry structure influences the potential to reduce CO2 in the short- medium and long term. It is concluded that the age structure of the existing industry plant stock and its implications for the timing and deployment rate of CO2 capture and other mitigation measures are important and should therefore be further investigated. Practical implications – CCS has been recognized as a key option for reducing CO2 emissions within the EU. This assessment shows that considerable emission reductions could be achieved by targeting large point sources in some of the most emission-intensive industries. Yet, a number of challenges need to be resolved in all parts of the CCS chain. Efforts need to be intensified from all stakeholders to gain more experience with the technological, economical and social aspects of CCS. Originality/value – This study provides a first estimate of the potential role for CO2 capture technologies in lowering CO2 emissions from European heavy industry. By considering wider system aspects as well as plant-specific conditions the assessment made in this study gives a realistic overview of the prospects and practical limitations of CCS in EU industry.



Iron- and Steel

European Union




Johan Rootzén

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Energy Technology

Jan Kjärstad

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Energy Technology

Filip Johnsson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Energy Technology

Management of Environmental Quality

1477-7835 (ISSN)

Vol. 22 1 18-32

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering



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