Carbon capture patents soar as businesses look to tackle climate change

The number of patents filed for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies has jumped as companies look to reduce their emissions and commercialise innovations.

BDO's David Bevan says companies are increasingly looking to monetise carbon capture and storage technologies.

According to research by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, the number of global patents around CCS technology rose by 22 per cent in 2020-21.

The 203 patents seen in the last 12 months compare to just 62 five years ago.

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BDO said the figures reflect growing recognition that carbon capture and storage could play a key role in addressing climate change.

“Innovation is accelerating as companies look for ways to reduce their carbon emissions and recognise that they will only be able to properly monetise any technologies if they are patented,” said David Bevan, corporate finance director at BDO.

Carbon capture and storage is the process of removing CO2 from the gases emitted by industrial processes or from the air and storing it, often in depleted oil and gas reservoirs or coalbeds.

The data shows the energy sector leads the way in registering carbon capture patents, with the industry recording 32 patents in the last year, 16 per cent of the total. While many oil and gas businesses are diversifying into renewables, they still remain reliant on fossil fuels. Technology which allows fossil fuels to be burned while reducing their carbon footprint is therefore likely to be attractive to some oil and gas businesses.

Other sectors cited in the research as target markets for the use of patents include cement and concrete plants, sewage and waste treatment works, mining, agriculture, steel and construction.

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