CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Clean Power ccs

Published on July 10th, 2009 | by Ruedigar Matthes

16

Carbon Capture and Storage Progressing Toward Feasibility

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

July 10th, 2009 by  

[social_buttons]

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has the potential to cut global Co2 emissions dramatically. We’re talking huge cuts. It has been estimated that a plant implementing CCS can cut emissions by 80-90 percent compared with a plant that doesn’t use CCS. Sounds great, right? Well, there are some some problems.

Cost is the number one challenge that CCS faces. “Applying it would significantly increase the cost of electricity beyond what society is likely willing to pay,” said Sarah Forbes,  a World Resources Institute Senior Associate. Another challenge is that no fully integrated demonstrations have taken place. The pieces have been tested individually, but the entire puzzle is yet to be seen.

Forbes describes CCS and its current challenges in more detail:

But good news is here. Australia’s CO2CRC has recently taken a step toward saving the world from devastation. Having been commissioned to research carbon capture and storage, Australia’s most comprehensive post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture research facility will begin its CO2CRC H3 Capture Project. The research will take place at International Power’s Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The CO2CRC H3 Capture Project will trial three CO2 capture technologies with Australian brown coal flue gases and evaluate them for larger scale capture,” said Mr Barry Hooper, Chief Technologist of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC).

The project is using the 30 metre high solvent capture plant installed by International Power as part of the Hazelwood Carbon Capture Project to test and evaluate new and improved solvents, compare equipment performance, investigate impurities removal and optimize solvent capture processes.

The project will also test the effectiveness of two new technologies: membranes and absorbents. Membranes, typically made of polymers or ceramics, can be used to sieve out carbon dioxide from gas streams. Carbon Dioxide seeps through the membrane’s pores and comes in contact with the solvent, which is selected specifically so that only Co2 is absorbed.

Adsorbents are solids (typically minerals called zeolites) that can capture Co2 on their surface, release the Co2 when a change in temperature or pressure is experienced and be reused over and over. These absorption technologies have potential to be more cost effective because they require less energy and they could have less impact on the environment.

“Projects such as this will make retro-fitting of post-combustion capture technology more practical and affordable for all power stations.”

The winds of adversity are still blowing strong, but headway is being made. Alongside renewable (non carbon-based) energy supplies, affordable, effective carbon storage and capture could play a huge role in our fight against global climate change.

Image Credit: CO2CRC

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

I'm a 22 year old student of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, I've grown up loving the red rock of southern Utah as well as the pristine mountains of the northern fronts. Besides saving the planet one blog post at a time, I enjoy soccer, the natural world, reading and writing.



  • Dean Procter

    Grow plants and trees, nature’s carbon capture device, chop them down and bury them, plant new ones.

    Basic chemistry CO2 and H2O = Acid, weak, but bad for oceans, water tables, rocks? Sort of like sweeping it under the carpet really.

  • Dean Procter

    Grow plants and trees, nature’s carbon capture device, chop them down and bury them, plant new ones.

    Basic chemistry CO2 and H2O = Acid, weak, but bad for oceans, water tables, rocks? Sort of like sweeping it under the carpet really.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    While I see CCS playing a role in certain environments, and for a certain period of time, I’m still not convinced that it’s a viable long term play that will make a significant difference in the CO2 equation.

    And while I do support spot solutions that help mitigate the overall problem… it doesn’t really solve the key issue of reducing the amount of CO2 being generated.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    While I see CCS playing a role in certain environments, and for a certain period of time, I’m still not convinced that it’s a viable long term play that will make a significant difference in the CO2 equation.

    And while I do support spot solutions that help mitigate the overall problem… it doesn’t really solve the key issue of reducing the amount of CO2 being generated.

  • russ

    Paul – syn gas or from a power plant – CO2 is CO2 it is the same thing – sorry about that.

    Cry about greenwash and do nothing – be a true green!

  • russ

    Paul – syn gas or from a power plant – CO2 is CO2 it is the same thing – sorry about that.

    Cry about greenwash and do nothing – be a true green!

  • Paul

    “nothing new”?? There isn’t a single CO2 capture and storage demo plant anywhere on the planet running off a conventional coal fired rankin cycle plant, Great Plains is Synfuel – Coal “Gasification”, a totally different process.

    If that plant alone already ships 8,000 metric tons of CO2 daily (3 Million tons a year) to help pressurize depleted Canadian oil wells, where does the other 6 Billion tons per year from the rest of the coal plants in the US go when there isn’t a single public authority willing to ok CO2 injection on US soil due to potential public liability if CO2 gas seeps out???

    Here is the scale of the problem. Compare the infrastructure required to transport and long term store 6 Billion tons of CO2 per year with the infrastructure that moves 1 Billion metric ton of oil consumed in the US each year.

    It’s all greenwash political BS!

  • Paul

    “nothing new”?? There isn’t a single CO2 capture and storage demo plant anywhere on the planet running off a conventional coal fired rankin cycle plant, Great Plains is Synfuel – Coal “Gasification”, a totally different process.

    If that plant alone already ships 8,000 metric tons of CO2 daily (3 Million tons a year) to help pressurize depleted Canadian oil wells, where does the other 6 Billion tons per year from the rest of the coal plants in the US go when there isn’t a single public authority willing to ok CO2 injection on US soil due to potential public liability if CO2 gas seeps out???

    Here is the scale of the problem. Compare the infrastructure required to transport and long term store 6 Billion tons of CO2 per year with the infrastructure that moves 1 Billion metric ton of oil consumed in the US each year.

    It’s all greenwash political BS!

  • russ

    Check the Great Plains Gasification project just out of Bismark, ND – they have been doing it for years and sending CO2 by pipeline to old oil fields in Canada where is used to enhance oil recovery.

    None of the technologies listed above are new or even new to CO2 separation. Makes a nice press release though.

  • russ

    Check the Great Plains Gasification project just out of Bismark, ND – they have been doing it for years and sending CO2 by pipeline to old oil fields in Canada where is used to enhance oil recovery.

    None of the technologies listed above are new or even new to CO2 separation. Makes a nice press release though.

  • Robear

    I guess these guys haven’t heard: according to an article over at Peswiki.com, a couple of Poles have found a way to easily convert CO2 into gasoline.

  • Robear

    I guess these guys haven’t heard: according to an article over at Peswiki.com, a couple of Poles have found a way to easily convert CO2 into gasoline.

  • Paul

    Carbon Capture is the biggest load of Greenwash BS going.

    It is technically and logistically impossible to store ALL coal generated CO2 underground, yet never ending CSS research is used as an excuse to allow Autstralian politicians (Aust is the Saudi Arabia of coal, the worlds largest coal exporter) to BS for years that coal can be made ‘green’ when in fact it’s 100% smoke and mirrors.

    When will these pr%#ks EVER face the hard decisions that HAVE to be made?

  • Paul

    Carbon Capture is the biggest load of Greenwash BS going.

    It is technically and logistically impossible to store ALL coal generated CO2 underground, yet never ending CSS research is used as an excuse to allow Autstralian politicians (Aust is the Saudi Arabia of coal, the worlds largest coal exporter) to BS for years that coal can be made ‘green’ when in fact it’s 100% smoke and mirrors.

    When will these pr%#ks EVER face the hard decisions that HAVE to be made?

  • Carbon Free

    Sorry guys, CCS is a huge challenge: technically, economically, liability-wise, etc.

    One point- while low but growing concentrations of CO2 in the air are not toxic, with a major leak of concentrated stored CO2, people can die! (Famous Nyos lake in ’84 & ’86 http://pagesperso-orange.fr/mhalb/nyos/nyos.htm 1,800 died)

    Who will accept indefinite liability?

    Second Point: we are still ripping coal out of mountains in W. Virginia, an environmental tragedy and worrying about spills of toxic ash in lagoons across the country.

    “Clean” coal is a terrible oxymoron.

  • Carbon Free

    Sorry guys, CCS is a huge challenge: technically, economically, liability-wise, etc.

    One point- while low but growing concentrations of CO2 in the air are not toxic, with a major leak of concentrated stored CO2, people can die! (Famous Nyos lake in ’84 & ’86 http://pagesperso-orange.fr/mhalb/nyos/nyos.htm 1,800 died)

    Who will accept indefinite liability?

    Second Point: we are still ripping coal out of mountains in W. Virginia, an environmental tragedy and worrying about spills of toxic ash in lagoons across the country.

    “Clean” coal is a terrible oxymoron.

Back to Top ↑