What Is Carbon Capture?
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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© 2019 Pamela Oglesby