Keeping Carbon from Escaping: Carbon Capture and Storage

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Carbon capture & storage (main)

December 16, 2010, 12:00 am
May 7, 2012, 6:36 pm
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Carbon capture and storage (CCS). Various sources and sinks for carbon dioxide.


Hydrocarbon fuels — be they coal, natural gas, petroleum, or biomass — release carbon dioxide (CO2) upon combustion. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to the practice of collecting CO2, concentrating it, transporting it, and storing it in a manner that prevents it from mixing freely with the atmosphere. [1] Storage options include diversion into industrial processes, conversion into mineral carbonates, pumping to the depths of the oceans, and burial in deep geological formations. All phases of CCS (capture, concentration, transportation, and storage) face significant technological and economic challenges.

Many aspects of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) are still at the preliminary stages of development, and this mitigation approach requires sophisticated equipment, consumes extra fuel, and puts additional constraints on the location of facilities. The additional costs of a CCS system are substantial, and estimates depend on source, transport, and storage options. In most systems, CO2 capture is the most expensive step, but this cost should decline by 20% to 30% over the next few decades as new technologies become available.

[1] IPCC (2005) IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage prepared by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Metz, B., O. H. Davidson, C. de Coninck, M. Loos, and L. A. Meyer, eds. Cambridge University Press, New York.

This is an excerpt from the book Global Climate Change: Convergence of Disciplines by Dr. Arnold J. Bloom and taken from UCVerse of the University of California.

©2010 Sinauer Associates and UC Regents



Bloom, A. (2012). Keeping Carbon from Escaping: Carbon Capture and Storage. Retrieved from