Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Sequestration – Attracting Considerable Research!

Published on 08 Mar, 2014

  • CO2 sequestration research area has attracted considerable research, with more than 1,000 patents filed every year (except 2013) over the past five years.
  • As is clear from the filing trend, more numbers of patents were filed in the chemical separation type of CO2 capture technology from 2008 to 2013.
  • Numerous experiments have been performed to find the applications of sequestered CO2 as an alternative renewable source of fuel and feedstock for synthesis of chemicals such as methanol, carbonates, etc.
  • Application of sequestered CO2 injection technology for enhanced oil recovery has been gaining importance.

Figure 1 below depicts the filing trend for the past five years. As is clear from the filing trend, more or less equal number of patents was filed in this field of technology from 2008 to 2013.

CO2 Sequestration Patent Filing Trend

Figure 1: Filing Trend (Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)

During the past few years, much effort has been devoted to developing new technologies for CO2 capture. Based on the findings, the primary methods of CO2 capture can be categorised into:

  • CO2 capture by chemical separation
  • CO2 capture by use of adsorbent
  • CO2 capture by use of membrane and diffusion
  • CO2 capture by rectification and condensation
  • CO2 capture by biological separation

Figure 2 below depicts the CO2 capture technology filing scenario over the past five years.

CO2 Sequestration Technology filing Scenario

Figure 2: Technology Filing Trend (Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)

The most active assignees in CO2 sequestration domain are Alstom Technology, General Electric, SHELL Oil, Air Liquide, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hitachi, University of Zhejiang, and University of Southeast, followed by Calera, University of Tsinghua, Yingfan Zhang, and GreatPoint Energy, as depicted in Figure 3.

CO2 Sequestration Top Assignee

Figure 3: Top assignees in the domain (Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)

Some of the interesting research sectors explored by the top assignees in this domain are:

  • Use of absorbents, solvent systems and membranes for separation, purification and capturing of CO2
  • Use of captured CO2 for enhanced recovery of oil

In terms of the preferred geographies for patent protection, the USA, China, Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea and few others are the key markets. The USA dominates the research space, with approximately 5,514 inventions originating from the country. Figure 4 exhibits the geographic distribution of inventions.

Origin of Invention CO2 Sequestration

Figure 4: Origin of invention – Jurisdiction spread (Source: Aranca Analysis based on Thomson Innovation data)

CO2 injection into geological formations is one of the advance technologies for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In 2000, 72 oil extraction projects out of 84 projects were operational all over the world using CO2 injection technology. Based on the above insights, research activity in sequestration of CO2 may strengthen in future due to the need to reduce concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, increase in the need for an alternative source of fuel, for enhanced oil extraction and many other applications that are yet to be explored.

About CO2 Sequestration

ABOUT Carbon dioxide sequestration

Carbon dioxide sequestration is defined as capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by power plants, industrial processes, and burning of fossil fuels before it is released to the atmosphere and storing it safely. The technology of CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) is greatly advantageous for reducing CO2 emissions from new and existing coal & gas-fired power plants and industrial sources.