CO2 Emissions

Published on February 5th, 2009 | by Amiel Blajchman

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McKinsey's Guide to Carbon Capture and Storage

February 5th, 2009 by  

Have you been looking for a quick cheat sheet to understand the mechanics behind carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is one of the technologies envisioned by President Obama to allow the United States to use coal as a clean energy source? Well, global consulting company McKinsey recently published a guide to the technologies behind CCS in this nifty interactive graphic display (note that you need to sign up for a free account with the McKinsey Quarterly to view it).

The interactive demonstrates fairly clearly the methodology behind the 3 stages of carbon capture and storage:

  • Capture: which includes either pre-combustion, post-combustion, or oxyfuel
  • Transport: which includes either pipeline, shipping, or road/rail
  • Storage: which can be accomplished either underground, or in the deep ocean

The guide is designed for people with limited time on their hands, so it’s pretty easy to understand and navigate.

Image: GD*5684718 via Flickr’s Creative Commons

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About the Author

Amiel is the founder of the Globalis Group, an organization whose motto is "combining action and thought for a sustainable world." His experience includes working with the Canadian government on greenspace projects, sustainable development programs and on policy documents on issues as diverse as climate change, sustainable development, and the environmental and social impacts of transportation. He is listed on the UN’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory’s list of GHG experts, and has sat on the Canadian Environmental Certifications Board’s Greenhouse Gas Verification and Validation Certification committee.



  • CCS is crazy — they want to pump it underground where it will leak out, or even worse, dump it in the ocean?

    The answer is to stop using coal. We don’t need to use it, we are very quickly developing solar and wind energy and we can even use nuclear until we get solar and wind up to speed. Coal is not a feasible fuel for the future.

    The only reason we might have to use CCS is to get existing C02 out of the atomosphere, not to put more C02 in the atmosphere and then use it to get it out.

    See NASA scientist James Hansen’s recent article on this.

    http://www.civilianism.com/futurism/?p=527

  • russ

    The photo looks like a nuky plant to me with the parabolic cooling towers.

    Does that have something to do with CCS?

  • russ

    The photo looks like a nuky plant to me with the parabolic cooling towers.

    Does that have something to do with CCS?

  • CCS is crazy — they want to pump it underground where it will leak out, or even worse, dump it in the ocean?

    The answer is to stop using coal. We don’t need to use it, we are very quickly developing solar and wind energy and we can even use nuclear until we get solar and wind up to speed. Coal is not a feasible fuel for the future.

    The only reason we might have to use CCS is to get existing C02 out of the atomosphere, not to put more C02 in the atmosphere and then use it to get it out.

    See NASA scientist James Hansen’s recent article on this.

    http://www.civilianism.com/futurism/?p=527

  • Alberto

    Pero … pregunto, acaso no es que son torres de refrigeracion de las centrales nucleares?. Entonces, eso es vapor de agua solamante?, No es jugar un poco con nosotros?.

  • Alberto

    Pero … pregunto, acaso no es que son torres de refrigeracion de las centrales nucleares?. Entonces, eso es vapor de agua solamante?, No es jugar un poco con nosotros?.

  • Adam

    Awesome picture in the post! Any way to see a full-res version?

  • Adam

    Awesome picture in the post! Any way to see a full-res version?

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