Volume 35: CCUS Technologies for the Carbon Neutrality: Part III

CO2-Echain: An Integrated Digital Framework for Carbon Removal Credits Management in Full-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage Projects Nan Zhang, Jungwon Seo, Ying Guo, Tao Yang, Chunming Rong



In response to the Paris Agreement’s 2050 target for net-zero Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, the European Commission forecasts a net-negative cap in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) by 2045, mostly through carbon removal. In 2022, the EU initiated a Carbon Removal Credits (CRCs) certification framework to advance this goal. However, the effective integration of CRCs into the EU ETS still presents a significant challenge. This paper introduces CO2-Echain, a comprehensive digital framework designed to manage CRCs across full-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) processes, and to enable third-party CRCs certification within the EU ETS. To ensure effective CRCs integration, the framework focuses on vital criteria such as data integrity and security, transparency and auditability, compliance, alignment with existing infrastructure and workflow, flexibility and scalability, and operational efficiency. CO2-Echain employs an edge-to-cloud architecture, leveraging distributed edge nodes and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to supervise the entire CO2 life cycle – from capture to transport and injection. It records standard CRCs certification methodologies (once established), procedures, and results into the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). To maintain data integrity, a private blockchain deploys Smart Contracts to manage these files. A synchronized cloud platform allows authorized third-party access to IPFS files, thereby enhancing the integration of CRCs with the EU ETS. Ultimately, CO2-Echain aims to facilitate a more robust, efficient, and effective market mechanism for carbon emissions removal.

Keywords Net Zero, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), Carbon Removal Credits (CRCs), Blockchain, Carbon Accounting

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