Critiques: Cash Capture and Storage, April 14, 2011, Stephen Luntz. Summary: it has a role when there's double value: Extracting natural gas and storing carbon dioxide.

As a mechanism for keeping coal-fired power stations operating, it is currently less effective in cost and climate impact.

Existing commercial applications: Norway's north sea oil/gas...?

Funded projects: Australian -

Transporting CO2 to storage location: Very long pipes greatly add to the cost - therefore the storage should be close (how close?) to the source.

Technology: Unit operations: Wikipedia:Carbon dioxide scrubber

Side-benefits of CCS research: Important advances have been made recently (2010-11?) on separating different gasses. This has it’s applicable in other cases, and some of the potential applications are very exciting.

Time scale - critique:

Short term solution: Proponents hope for large scale use by 2020.

Very long term (centuries and possibly decades), renewable energy will inevitably become more economical than fossil fuel, which has finite limits. This will certainly happen before coal runs out. At current cost trajectories for solar power, and given the development of base-load solar (molten salt solar thermal, and mass-scale energy storage such as vanadium redox flow batteries) this may happen much sooner. In remote areas renewable energy is already more cost-effective; the situations where renewable energy is more attractive will increase, through improved technology and prices on carbon (carbon taxes and carbon trading).

This places CCS as a medium term solution - after the technology has been developed, but before the economics of renewable energy overtake it for large-scale applications such as base-load power generation. but should we really be investing so much more in something that is only going to be applicable over a relative short window than we are on solar, wind etc?

Coal and natural gas are significantly cheaper than renewable energy, especially allowing for intermittent supply by solar and wind (storage or backup for when the sun doesn't shine and wind doesn't blow).

Storage time scale: Storage is required until technology exists which renders the carbon dioxide harmless to the climate - either by being able to capture it in another way (e.g. biomass), or by having reduced carbon dioxide to such a safe level that releasing the gas won't be an issue (e.g. widespread use of renewables plus other forms of carbon sequestration, such as reforestation and ocean seeding).

The required time scale for this is unknown, but is likely to be several decades at a minimum. Ensuring safe storage for in excess of 100 years makes sense.

For well-selected, designed and managed geological storage sites, the IPCC estimates that CO2 could be trapped for millions of years, and the sites are likely to retain over 99% of the injected CO2 over 1,000 years. In 2009 it was reported that scientists had mapped Template:Convert/sqmiTemplate:Convert/test/A of rock formations in the U.S. that could be used to store 500 years' worth of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.[1] -

Risk management - leakage: A major concern with CCS is whether leakage of stored CO2 will compromise CCS as a climate change mitigation option. For well-selected, designed and managed geological storage sites, IPCC estimates that risks are comparable to those associated with current hydrocarbon activity. CO2 could be trapped for millions of years, and although some leakage occurs upwards through the soil, well selected storage sites are likely to retain over 99% of the injected CO2 over 1000 years. Leakage through the injection pipe is a greater risk.[2] -

CO2 leaks: Billions of tonnes of gas need to be stored for at least hundreds, probably thousands of years. If people are in the area, any CO2 leak could be deadly. Also see

Capacity: "The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) reported that North America has enough storage capacity [in geological formations] at its current rate of production for more than 900 years worth of carbon dioxide.[3] A general problem is that long term predictions about submarine or underground storage security are very difficult and uncertain, and there is still the risk that CO2 might leak from the storage into the atmosphere." - intro. Impact: from - "CCS is not presently a viable technology for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from coal fired power stations and is not expected, even by its proponents, to be commercially viable until at least 2020. The IPCC estimates that the economic potential of CCS could be between 10% and 55% of the total carbon mitigation effort until year 2100.[4]"

Policies around the world: US funds carbon sequestration:

Political challenges: Perceived risks to residents near to storage location (particularly land-based locations) due to potential CO2 leaks.

Maps and project information:

Alternatives: Pure renewables (Beyond Zero Emissions) Wikipedia:Carbon dioxide removal: Carbon dioxide removal from ambient air Use CO2 as a feedstock for synthetic fuel - using green electricity. Use CO2 as a feedstock for algae, to produce biofuels.


Deanna D'Alessandro - Chemistry' The University of Sydney. Research into "Highly porous three-dimensional solids known as metal-organic frameworks... for use as CO2 capture materials... The ultimate goal is the development of industrially-viable materials that can be readily integrated into industrial processes.

Research centres:

Business bodies: Who is ICO2N?ICO2N is the Integrated CO2 Network, a network of Canadian companies committed to the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Canada

Resources[edit | edit source]

Open content resources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Rocks Found That Could Store Greenhouse Gas, Live Science, March 9, 2009
  2. Natuurwetenschap & Techniek; April 2009; CCS leakage risks
  3. NETL 2007 Carbon Sequestration Atlas, 2007
  4. [IPCC, 2005] IPCC special report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. Prepared by working group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Metz, B., O.Davidson, H. C. de Coninck, M. Loos, and L.A. Meyer (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 442 pp. Available in full at (PDF - 22.8MB)
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