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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Carbon capturing storage and utilization at building level : a feasibility study based on life cycle thinking Liyanage, Don Rukmal Dhanushka


Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in energy generation are one of the main causes of climate change. It is important to mitigate climate change as it leads to extreme weather and climate events. Buildings are responsible for 40% of the energy consumption in the world. The majority of energy consumed in buildings is for heating in colder regions. Natural gas is a commonly used fuel for building heating despite the GHGs directly emitted during the operation of natural gas building heating systems. Although energy demand can be reduced with energy retrofits, it is impossible to completely eliminate the requirement of thermal energy from the current technologies. Adopting carbon capturing, storage, and utilization technologies at building level can be a solution for reducing the GHG emissions from natural gas building heating systems. However, feasibility assessment, research, and development of this technology are lacking in the current knowledge base. The main goal of this research is to investigate the feasibility of implementing carbon capturing, storage, and utilisation technologies in existing natural gas-based building heating systems. The study developed a life cycle thinking based comparative performance assessment framework to assess the life cycle environmental and economic performance of building-level carbon capturing technologies and compare them to alternative GHG emission mitigation methods used for building heating systems. A fuzzy logic based, multi-attribute decision making approach was used in the comparative performance assessment framework to consider both environmental and economic impacts simultaneously, while handling the uncertainties. The outcomes of the research will contribute to the development of building-level carbon capturing technologies and provide confidence to stakeholders to invest in them. In addition, the knowledge is useful for policy makers and governments in making decisions on climate change mitigation initiatives, while supporting the climate action targets of the Canadian government and global agreements.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International