Carbon capture’s days may be numbered

Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) – a technology that promises to reduce atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and carbon-intensive industries – has been faced with a number of challenges in recent years.

Yup. Not least of which is that it is a singularly stupid thing to do. Not only does it waste a tremendous amount of energy but it wastes a magnificent environmental resource as well. Its motivation? Dioxycarbophobia and weather superstition.

Several setbacks to planned demonstration projects, protests from local communities and other stakeholders, and a dearth of financing from industry and national governments have meant that the pace of deployment has fallen short of expectations. CCS is thus facing a crisis, and it is important to consider what its future may be.

CCS is a technical system that aims to capture CO2 from large industrial sources and store it deep underground in rock formations for long periods of time. It is the only technology with the potential to clean up CO2 emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants. The technological components that are needed to develop CCS systems are all known and tested in other industrial applications, but it is still necessary to adapt and integrate them for use in CCS systems. Hence the need to demonstrate the system in operation before it can be routinely deployed.

The technology would allow continued reliance on fossil fuels, whilst simultaneously mitigating CO2 emissions. CCS has therefore proven irresistible to policymakers by promising to square the circle of these otherwise apparently irreconcilable objectives. CCS has risen meteorically on policy agendas over the last decade and is now a lynch pin of the energy and climate policies of many industrialised countries.

Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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3 responses to “Carbon capture’s days may be numbered

  1. Maybe I’m just slow, but could someone explain to me how those evil fracking liquids can seep up through 10,000 feet of solid rock to turn our water into flames, but somehow CO2 gas pumped down under similar formations will somehow happily stay remain in place for all of eternity, thereby helping to save our doomed planet?

    • Because the heavy fracking fluids contain lubricants that allow the greater pressures down deep to push the liquids uphill, whereas the much lighter gases…. oh wait… Never mind.
      [h/t and a grin to Emily Litella]

  2. Woo Hoo!
    Perhaps at least one pocket picking scam is going to be killed off early. [I can hope can't I?]

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