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Carbon Capture and Storage : Climate Mitigation Technology



  Dec 07, 2023

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)



CCS is a technology aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the mitigation of climate change. It involves three main steps:

1. Capture: The process starts with capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by industrial activities, such as burning fossil fuels in power generation or other industrial processes like cement production.

2. Transport: Once captured, the CO2 is compressed and transported via pipelines, trucks, or ships to a suitable storage site.

3. Storage: The CO2 is then injected into underground geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas fields or deep saline aquifer formations, where it is stored safely and permanently to prevent it from entering the atmosphere.

CCS is considered a crucial technology for the transition to a low-carbon economy, particularly for heavy industries that are difficult to decarbonize. However, it also faces challenges such as high costs, the need for significant infrastructure, and ensuring the permanent and secure containment of CO2.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Pros, Cons, and Challenges

Pros of CCS:

Emission Reduction: CCS can significantly reduce the CO2 emissions from industries, especially those that are difficult to decarbonize, such as the cement and steel sectors.

Energy Security: It allows continued use of fossil fuels while mitigating their impact on the environment.

Technological Advancement: CCS technologies can lead to innovations in carbon management and storage.

Cons of CCS:

High Costs: The deployment of CCS is expensive, with estimates suggesting that achieving net-zero through high reliance on CCS could cost at least $30 trillion more than less intensive pathways.

Infrastructure: Requires extensive infrastructure for capturing, transporting, and storing CO2, which can be cost-prohibitive.

Effectiveness: Some projects have not worked as designed, leading to skepticism about the reliability of CCS.

Challenges:

Scaling: Current CCS capacity is far below the levels needed to significantly impact global emissions.

Public Perception: There is often public resistance to the storage aspect of CCS, particularly regarding safety concerns.

Technology Maturity: While the technology is available, it has not been adopted at the pace needed to meet climate targets.

Economic Viability: Without government incentives or a high carbon price, CCS may not be economically viable.

Environmental Impact: Potential risks include leakage of stored CO2 and the energy required for CCS processes.

Strategic Use of CCS:

CCS is most beneficial when used in a targeted manner. For instance, in sectors where direct emission reductions are challenging or in combination with renewable energy sources to create low-carbon industrial hubs.


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