This paper presents a first comprehensive comparison of environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies. Life cycle assessment studies found in the literature have been reviewed for these purposes. In total, 27 studies have been found of which 11 focus on CCS and 16 on CCU. The CCS studies suggest that the global warming potential (GWP) from power plants can be reduced by 63–82%, with the greatest reductions achieved by oxy-fuel combustion in pulverised coal and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants and the lowest by postcombustion capture in combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants. However, other environmental impacts such as acidification and human toxicity are higher with than without CCS. For CCU, the GWP varies widely depending on the utilisation option. Mineral carbonation can reduce the GWP by 4–48% compared to no CCU. Utilising CO2 for production of chemicals, specifically, dimethylcarbonate (DMC) reduces the GWP by 4.3 times and ozone layer depletion by 13 times compared to the conventional DMC process. Enhanced oil recovery has the GWP 2.3 times lower compared to discharging CO2 to the atmosphere but acidification is three times higher. Capturing CO2 by microalgae to produce biodiesel has 2.5 times higher GWP than fossil diesel with other environmental impacts also significantly higher. On average, the GWP of CCS is significantly lower than of the CCU options. However, its other environmental impacts are higher compared to CCU except for DMC production which is the worst CCU option overall.
- Carbon capture and storage
- Carbon capture and utilisation
- Life cycle assessment
- Climate change
- Environmental impacts