Department of Energy and Climate Change

Carbon abatement technologies

Carbon abatement technologies

The combustion of fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Fossil fuel-based carbon abatement technologies (CATs) enable fossil fuels to be used with substantially reduced CO2 emissions, and can therefore strengthen the diversity and security of energy supply by enabling continued use of fossil fuels.

Technologies within this group include:

  • a more efficient conversion process which reduces the amount of fuel consumed and can contribute to a 10-30% reduction in emissions 
  • fuel switching to lower carbon alternatives – such as natural gas and co-firing with a CO2-neutral biomass
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), a radical technology which has the potential to reduce emissions by 85-90%.

CAT strategy

  • In June 2005, a strategy for developing carbon abatement technologies for fossil fuel use was published which addressed the future requirements for reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power generation. It aims to ensure the UK takes a leading role in developing and commercialising CATs, and also to enable cleanly-used coal to have a role in a sustainable world, as well as making other fossil fuels more environmentally friendly. 

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