Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuel use
Global climate change is an increasingly pressing issue, with governments and organizations around the world taking steps to reduce emissions and treat the natural environment more responsibly. Fossil fuels – such as oil, diesel and coal – are the main culprits behind the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. As such, it is becoming more and more important to focus on both reducing the amount of fossil fuels used, as well as improving the way in which they are used in order to reduce the environmental impact of their usage.
Across the world, research and innovation are taking place to make fossil fuel use cleaner and more efficient, with a range of different processes being used to reduce harmful emissions, while still allowing people to benefit from energy created by these sources. Read on to find out more about some of the ways in which these processes are being developed and used.
One of the key processes used to increase efficiency and reduce emissions in fossil fuel use is the implementation of combustion technologies. This is the process of burning fuel more efficiently by controlling the rate at which it is released, meaning the fuel can reach higher levels of combustion and the emissions created can be reduced.
A range of different innovative technologies are being used to achieve this higher efficiency, such as nitrogen-enriched combustion, oxy-combustion, advanced combustion and low-emission combustion technologies – all of which are being developed and tested with the goal of creating a cleaner and more efficient way of use fossil fuels.
Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is another key process being developed to reduce the environmental impact of using fossil fuels. When using CCS, carbon dioxide is captured before it can be released into the atmosphere, meaning it can be trapped and stored securely and safely – stopping it from contributing to global climate change.
This process takes place in two stages: first, carbon dioxide is captured from the air exhausts of factories, power plants and other sources, before it is transferred and stored, deep underground in geologic formations. The process of CCS is already being used in countries like the US and Norway, with improvements being made to capture and storage systems to make them even more efficient and reliable.
Biofuels are a type of renewable energy sources, made from organic materials like animal fats and vegetable oils. These biofuels can be used to power vehicles and other machinery, generating the same levels of energy as traditional fossil fuels but without the environmental harm.
In addition, bio-derived fuels can also be mixed in with traditional fuels to create ‘blended’ fuels which produce fewer emissions. This blending process is already being used in many countries around the world, and often involves combining biofuels with traditional fuels like petrol, diesel and natural gas.
Power Plant Retrofitting
Retrofitting is a process which involves taking an existing power plant and making improvements to increase its efficiency and reduce emissions. This process often involves making changes to the components and technology used within the power plant in order to reduce the amount of fuel it needs to operate, or to reduce the emissions it creates.
The retrofitting process can range from simple changes – such as improving air seals and insulation – to more complex changes, such as improving power plant design and equipment. Retrofitting can also be used to increase the efficiency of existing equipment, meaning it will use less energy to provide the same level of power.
Climate change is becoming an increasingly pressing global issue, and steps need to be taken to reduce emissions and slow global warming. One of the key areas of focus is in fossil fuel usage, and new technologies are being developed and tested in order to make fossil fuel use cleaner, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
From combustion technologies, to carbon capture and storage and power plant retrofitting, there are a range of solutions being developed to reduce emissions and make fossil fuels more efficient. While more work needs to be done — and more research needs to be conducted — to improve the efficiency and safety of these processes, it is clear that there is potential to make a real difference in the fight against climate change.