In theory, carbon capture is simple. Carbon dioxide produced when fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity is captured and then stored deep underground instead of being released into the atmosphere, where they become heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Because large amounts of energy are required to concentrate carbon dioxide molecules together so they can be caught (imagine how much easier it is to grab a handful of feathers when they are in a pillow case versus floating in the air), current carbon-capture technology is expensive. It’s just one of several technical and economic hurdles facing large scale use of carbon capture.
The fuel cell could be a fundamental shift in carbon capture because it can trap the gas while also generating electricity. This is important in power generation, where every percentage increase in efficiency matters.