What Is Carbon Capture?

Updated on January 20, 2019
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Pollution

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Carbon Capture and Storage Purpose

Scientist are very concerned about climate change, and the capture of greenhouse gases that damage our atmosphere is extremely important when factories or electrical plants burn fossil fuels. This article is designed to explain why many countries are using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) techniques to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. CCS is an important tool as it tackles climate change, provides energy security, creates jobs and economic prosperity.

Carbon capturing is used for facilities that burn fossil fuels or other chemicals. The techniques for carbon capturing will be explained. Carbon capturing stops carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. New technologies are being developed to comply with the environmental policies and laws as they intensify.

Carbon Capturing Technology

The technology of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is able to capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions that are produced from fossil fuels. This applies to industrial processes and electricity generation, and it prevents carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

  • CCS is caught by the following methods :
  • Exhaust gases for primarily post-combustion technologies (PostC)Natural gas procession (NGP), which is the largest installed carbon capturing capacity
  • Membrane technology also enhances offshore oil recovery (NGP)

Physical and chemical technologies primarily employ the PostC and NGP methods.

How Does Carbon & Storage Work?

Techniques for Carbon Capture

There are three methods of carbon capture, which include:

  1. Pre-combustion capture

  2. Post-combustion capture

  3. Oxyfuel combustion

These methods separate carbon dioxide from other gases that are produced with the burning of fossil fuels by industrial processes and in electricity generation.

The pre-combustion system converts liquid, solid and gaseous fuel into a mixture carbon dioxide and hydrogen using a number of processes, such as “gasification or reforming”. This process is used at refineries and chemical plants. The hydrogen is actually used to fuel electricity production and eventually it will power our automobiles and heat our homes “with zero emissions”.

Post-combustion captures carbon dioxide using a combustion process that absorbs CO2 in a solvent. It is them removed from the solvent and compressed for transportation, then storage.

The oxy-fuel combustion process results in a more concentrated CO2 stream that allows an easier purification.

Pollution

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Transporting the Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide must be transported from the point of capture to a storage site. The most common method of transportation used extensively around the world is pipelines. Gaseous CO2 is usually compressed to increase the density, which makes is less costly and easier to transport.

Road tankers using a controlled temperature in insulated tanks are also used for transportation. When CO2 must be moved long distances or overseas a ship may be more economical. Each CCS project uses the most appropriate transportation. These techniques have been used for over 30 years with an excellent safety record.

Storing Captured Carbon Dioxide

Transportation of CO2 typically ends at a porous geological formation for storage. The porous formations are usually located several kilometres under the surface of the earth. The temperature and pressure at these sites keeps the CO2 in a liquid or “supercritical phase”. Former oil or gas fields or deep saline formations in porous rocks are often used.

The depleted gas and oil fields were used initially when CO2 capture began, but scientists have looked for new places to store the CO2. The largest potential lies with the deep saline aquifers for the future.

The carbon dioxide is injected under pressure at the storage sites into the geological formations. After the CO2 is injected, it moves into the storage site until it reaches a layer of rock that is impermeable that overlays the storage site. This is termed the cap rock, which traps the CO2. This type of storage formation is called “structural storage”.

The Hard Facts Behind Carbon Capture and Storage

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change reported that “The combination of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) and permanent CO2 storage in oil reservoirs has the potential to provide a critical near-term solution for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR) and Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery (ECBM) are three methods used to combine oil or gas combined with the stored CO2. The potential of these processes is so profitable that they offset the cost of CO2 sequestration. Durham University reported, “Oil recovery using carbon dioxide could lead to a North Sea oil bonanza worth £150 billion ($240 billion) -- but only if the current infrastructure is enhanced now, according to a new study by a world-leading energy expert.”

Summary

The CCS chain technology, from the beginning to the end of the process, is very well understood, and the safety records are excellent. This process is helping to clean up our atmosphere, which makes a positive impact global warming. The monitoring by the government is thorough and there is extensive government regulation. This is a great step toward reducing CO2 in our atmosphere.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Pamela Oglesby

    Comments

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    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Miebakagh, A better atmosphere will take worldwide cooperation. I hate to see trees cut down in the Amazon and other places as they clean the environment. We need to find many new ways to power homes for heat and cars for fuel. I think people are working toward that end in many places, but there is thick smoke left in others. I hope we all do better in the future. Thanks for commenting.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hey, there, every person agreed that the article is interesting, informative, educative, and wonderful. However, I still expect more about such stories. How to preserve the atmosphere for the unborn generation? That is my main concern before I breathe my last. Good day.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Rajan, This was an interesting topic to research. I am glad your found it interesting also. Thank you for your comments.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Ver informative article about CCS. I had no idea about this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Linda, Yes, it is important. I appreciate your comments.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing the information, Pamela. Taking care of our environment is a very important topic.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Bronwen, At least it sounds like things may get bettr in the future. Thank you so much for your comments Bronwen.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      4 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      it's so important to care for the lovely environment that God created for humanity to enjoy. I was reminded of your theme recently when I booked to travel by plane and was given the option of paying a little extra to help replace in our great planet the carbon that was created by the flight.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Dora, I was glad to learn of a positive impact on our environment. I appreciate your comments.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      We know the problem, but never thought about transportation and storage of carbon. Very helpful and informative. Thanks!

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Peggy, It will be interesting to see what they can do in the future. Thanks for your comments.

    • Penny Sebring profile image

      Penny Leigh Sebring 

      4 months ago from Fort Collins

      Thank you for the great article, it clearly and thoroughly explains this promising technology!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      I never thought about what they did with CO2 emissions. Thanks for the education about this important subject. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Pop. I agree.I appreciate your comments.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 months ago

      It sounds like a very promising technology, and a much better solution than anything the corrupt UN has to offer.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Miebakagh, I read that many countries around the world are using this technology, but I did not research the particular countries. I had to research so many articles to try and understand the process as it is complex and not my field of expertise. I wanted to write an article that simply explained the various stages of carbon capturing.

      I do know that carbon capturing began in the USA about 40 years ago. I have great hope that it will be used in all countries eventually. There is also hope that a bio-fuel will be able to replace gas in our cars eventually. I appreciate your comments and a future article might be good with a slightly different focus.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Flourish, You are absolutely right. Thanks so much for your comments.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hello, Pamela, like Bill. I have not heard that such processes exist. I worry about the future generation survival. The atmosphere is now well politic since President Trump came to power. Your story and the points are well laid out simply.

      I am glad now that such scientific processes are being used to clean up the industrial waste emitted into our environment. I am equally happy that the government is in control, instead of a private cabal.

      However, I am afraid you failed to mentioned particular countries involved in these industrial cleansing. The advanced countries emitted more industrial pollution. China, India, and Japan are much more advanced it this. The United States and Great Britain should follow. Are these countries actively involved in the cleansing?

      I have more to read in the story. It seems you wrote a basic script. I will suggest you later write a more detailed story linking it to the present article. Thank you for sharing, and good day.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 months ago from USA

      I hadn’t heard of this but as someone who cares deeply about the environment I appreciate the description. We need to do what we can to save this planet from our impacts.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Clive, There is a wealth of information on the web, and the process is complicated. Thanks for stopping by.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      4 months ago from Jamaica

      Very interesting piece here. Will need to read further.

    • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Bill, My husband was talking about it, which got me interested. It is a complicated process but it sounds so good for the future.

      Thanks for your comments!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard of that process. Fascinating stuff! I sure hope it is as promising and effective as it appears to be. Thanks for the great information, Pamela!

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