CO2 Capture and Storage
2. What sources of CO2 emissions are suitable for capture and storage?
- 2.1 What are the characteristics of suitable emission sources?
- 2.2 To what extent could future CO2 emissions be captured?
2.1 What are the characteristics of suitable emission sources?
The Gibson coal power plant, a good example of a large
Source: John Blair,
Several factors determine whether carbon dioxide capture is a
viable option for a particular emission source:
- the size of the emission source,
- whether it is stationary or mobile,
- how near it is to potential storage sites, and
- how concentrated its CO2 emissions
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
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
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 (see
Four major clusters of emissions from such stationary emission
sources are: the Midwest and eastern USA, the northwestern part
of Europe, the eastern coast of China and the Indian
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.
Many stationary emission sources lie either directly above, or
within reasonable distance (less than 300km) from areas with
potential for geological storage (see
2.2 To what extent could future CO2 emissions be captured?
Considering different emission
scenarios, the projected
capture is 9–12% of global
emissions in 2020, and 21–45% in 2050.
Moreover, within several decades, energy carriers such as
electricity or hydrogen, which do not emit carbon when used,
could potentially begin replacing
fossil fuels currently used
by small, distributed sources in homes, businesses or
These energy carriers could be produced from
fossil fuels and/or
biomass in large
centralized plants that would generate large point sources of
suitable for carbon dioxide capture. Such applications could
reduce dispersed CO2 emissions from transport and
from distributed energy supply systems increasing the potential
of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).