Demonstrating CCS

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the separation of carbon dioxide from other flue gases, its transport to suitable storage sites, and its injection and storage in deep geological formations – brings together technologies which have been commonly used in the oil, gas and chemical industries for many years.

Many chemical plants around the world separate carbon dioxide from other gases and the technology is well-known. Carbon dioxide is already transported thousands of kilometres by pipeline in North America. There are also many places in the world where carbon dioxide is injected deep underground.

Carbon dioxide has been injected into oil fields to enhance recovery of oil since 1972. Some of the injected carbon dioxide remains in the oil field, so in this sense injection and storage has been underway commercially for 35 years. Injection of carbon dioxide to enhance oil recovery is now taking place commercially in the United States of America, Turkey, Trinidad and Canada. While many of these projects use naturally occurring carbon dioxide taken from underground deposits, some have more recently used carbon dioxide from industrial waste streams, such as from the manufacture of fertiliser, or carbon dioxide separated from natural gas during processing.

Both research and development CCS projects and commercial projects in Australia and across the world are underway or being planned to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and to prove the capabilities of developing technologies to lower sequestration costs.

In addition to industry funding and significant involvement of the research community, the Australian projects are supported by governments through a range of programs, including the Australian Greenhouse Office, the Cooperative Research Centres Programme, the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, and various state initiatives.

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