Monday, October 27, 2014

Creating Clean Coal: Carbon Capture and Storage


Conversations centering on climate change focus heavily on renewable energy sources, with solar and wind energy dominating the priority list of solutions. But there are other options available that work by upgrading current systems to harness the power of coal without heavy carbon dioxide emissions: carbon capture and storage (CCS) and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) systems.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Simply put, CCS is integrated into fossil fuel power plants, capturing carbon dioxide emissions so that they can be transported to a storage site, preventing them from entering into the atmosphere. Perhaps one of the simplest means of utilizing the infrastructure already in place, CCS turns carbon-emission-heavy fuel sources into a clean form of renewable energy, acting as a simpler means of combating climate change.
The first stage of this process involves capturing the CO2 and compressing it for storage. Methods vary, although for coal, CO2 is often captured post-combustion. From here, the emissions are pumped through a pipeline to a storage site deep underground, about 7,000 feet below the surface. In cases where pipelines are impossible, CO2 can also be transported to a storage site via ship...


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