Carbon Capture and Storage at power plants could substantially reduce GHG emissions

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be responsible for reducing global carbon emissions by up to 20%. To date there are no existing CCS power plants but experiments exist in the form of 1/10th-scale plants with 100% of emissions captured, and full size plants with 0.001% of emissions captured (Haszeldine, 2009). Since commercial CCS plants will not be built until several example plants are built, immediate funding of projects may be necessary if commercial plants are exected to be up and running by 2020.— Jake Bauch
 Haszeldine, R. Stuart, 2009. Carbon Capture and Storage: How Green Can Black Be? Science 325, 1647–1652

Stuart Haszeldine reviews the existing literature on CCS to find the issues to be resolved before construction can take place. There are unresolved issues with the capture, transport and storage of carbon. The three capture techniques, postcombustion, precombustion and oxyfuel combustion, are all comparable in terms of cost and efficiency. Barriers to entry for CCS are lack of legal standing in the form of performance standards and lack of economic incentive in the form of carbon being priced.  Several other factors are delaying construction even though the technology exists. Technological improvements are expected to increase efficiency by 20 to 60% and pipe sharing by multiple plants could reduce costs. New plants can be designed to easily convert to CCS when it is available. When it leaves the plants, captured carbon can be sent through pipes from power plants to the storage sites in aquifers, oil fields or gas fields.—Jake Bauch

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