Fighting sustainability challenges on two fronts: Material efficiency and the emerging carbon capture and storage technologies

Jarkko Levänen, Sanni Eloneva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Technological and regulatory responses to large-scale environmental threats, such as depletion of the natural resources and climate change, tend to focus on one issue at time. Emerging carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that are in different stages of development offer a case that demonstrates this dilemma. This article approximates the implications of two emerging CCS applications on existing steel mill’s CO2 emissions and its use of material resources. The evaluated applications are based on the mineralization method and the comparative case represents two versions of a geological CCS method. The results of the evaluation indicate that if technical bottleneck issues related to CO2 sequestration with mineralization can be solved, it can be possible to achieve a similar CO2 reduction performance with mineralization-based CCS applications as with more conventional CCS applications. If the CO2 capturing potential of mineralization-based applications could be taken into use, it could also enable the significant improvement of material efficiency of industrial operations. Urgent problem hampering the development of mineralization-based CCS applications is that the policy regimes related to CCS especially in the European Union (EU) do not recognize mineralization as a CCS method. Article suggests that the focus in the future evaluations and in policy should not be directed only on CO2 sequestration capacity of CCS applications. Similarly important is to consider their implications on material efficiency. Article also outlines modifications to the EU’s CCS policy in terms of the formal terminology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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