After analyzing the
"CCS is one of the only technologies available that has the potential to decarbonise fossil fuel power plants and other industrial processes. The capture, transport and storage technologies involved are considered to be safe, the scientific and engineering challenges small and the capacity to be deployed at scale promising. New and novel CCS technologies, such as the
Instead of simply dismissing CCS technology as currently not commercially viable, the report makes very clear that this technology could save and protect jobs associated with the coal industry. Moreover, it proposes a financial incentive framework the US should consider replicating if the current US administration is really interested in an "All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy" and, at the same time, tackling climate change. The report stipulates:
Note, in order to spur energy innovation, government has a role to play – preferably limited but still direct – as is evidenced in the renewable energy sector. Strengthening clean energy technology alone, however, will not reduce carbon emissions. It still requires a parallel and smart cutting back on fossil fuel consumption.
So, how does CCS work?
In general, carbon capture and storage (CCS) – also referred to as carbon capture and sequestration – can be broken down into three major steps, with the overall objective to capture CO2 produced by large power plants, thereby preventing large volumes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. First, carbon dioxide needs to be collected at its source. It is then compressed for transportation and finally injected deep into a secure natural rock formation for permanent storage at a safe site.
The following graphic illustrates the three major steps in the CCS process:
Source: Energy and Earth Resources,
Capture / Separation of CO2
Process starts with capturing carbon dioxide in large quantities from power plants or other major carbon dioxide emitters.
Collected CO2 gas is then transported under high-pressure in a liquid-like state via pipelines, ships or trucks to a selected storage site. Note, carbon dioxide is non-flammable and therefore in comparison to natural gas relatively safe to transport.
Eventually, CO2 is injected into deep natural underground rock formations suitable for geological storage, where the fluid is ideally trapped below a layer of impervious stone and absorbed in the porous rock below (Geological sequestration). Other possible forms of sequestration include mineral and biological sequestration.
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