What is CCS ?

1. What is carbon dioxide capture and storage?

CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) describes a technological process by which the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by large stationary sources – such as coal- fired power plants, steel plants and oil refineries – is prevented from entering the atmosphere.

Here's the basic issue. Imagine a volume of air:


The flask of water represents air, the blue dye CO2. The problem is to take the blue out of the flask and capture it in the little beaker.

CCS is the term used to describe a set of technologies aimed at capturing carbon dioxide emitted from industrial and energy-related sources before it enters the atmosphere, compressing it, and injecting it deep underground in secure geological formations, and ensuring it remains stored there indefinitely.  


2. What sources of CO2 emissions are suitable for capture and storage? 

CO2 could be captured from large stationary emission sources such as power plants or industrial facilities. If such facilities are located near potential storage sites, for example suitable geological formations, they are possible candidates for the early implementation of CO2 capture and storage (CCS).

Small or mobile emission sources in homes, businesses or transportation are not being considered at this stage because they are not suitable for capture and storage.

In 2000, close to 60% of the CO2 emissions due to the use of fossil fuels were produced by large stationary emission sources, such as power plants and oil and gas extraction or processing industries.

Large-scale biomass conversion facilities, for instance for the production of bio-ethanol, also generate emissions with high CO2 content. Though such facilities are much smaller and rarer, they could also be suitable for CO2 capture and storage.


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