TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County recently approved a proposal to begin a pilot program using carbon capture technology on its waste-to-energy plant in Brandon.

The move authorizes a South Korean company called Low Carbon to build to a facility that captures carbon dioxide emissions at the plant.

What You Need To Know

  • The University of South Florida is working to come up with long-term plan to combat greenhouse gases in the Tampa Bay area

  • According to USF's Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Tampa is in the "top 10 for how much CO2 we emit"

  • Some counties are exploring the use of carbon capture technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Numerous things that burn fossil fuels — like cars, trucks, aircraft and power plants — emit CO2, which, when introduced into the atmosphere and the environment, is believed to be one of the primary causes of climate issues.

Dr. Pradeep Haldar, director of Sustainable Business at the Patel College of Global Sustainability at University of South Florida, said the college is collaborating with four counties, including Hillsborough and Pinellas, to produce an action plan to cut down on carbon emissions. One of those options, he said, is carbon capture.

“These (smoke) stacks that you see in power plants — if you can actually capture the carbon as it is emitting from these energy-generating facilities, that’s where its coming out from — the stacks,” he said.

Haldar said the process works like a filtration system.

“You can think about it as a filter that captures all of the pollutant gases being released and storing it so it doesn’t get released into the atmosphere,” Haldar said.

He says it is just one of many options that local officials are exploring, but  he says it is a great way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.

“We are probably the 19th largest municipality (Tampa) in the country but from an emission standpoint, we are in the top 10 for how much CO2 we emit,” Haldar said.