US research paper says that CCS is an unviable technology

This entry was posted by Wednesday, 30 June, 2010
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A new research paper from Houston University threatens to derail the growing political support for CCS as a tool in the fight against global warming, by claiming that governments have overestimated the viability/value of CCS. It says that it would take a reservoir the size of a small US state to hold the CO2 produced by one power station.

In the paper Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at Houston, and his co-author Christene Ehlig-Economides, professor of energy engineering at Texas A&M University, argues that previous modeling has hugely underestimated the space needed to store CO2, mainly due to the fact that it was based on the totally erroneous premise that the pressure feeding the carbon into the rock structures would be constant.

The paper concludes that CCS “is not a practical means to provide any substantive reduction in CO2 emissions, although it has been repeatedly presented as such by others.”

The report comes at a critical time, for British, French, and other governments worldwide have already started to fast-track a series of CCS prototype schemes as a way of removing carbon from the atmosphere and helping with climate change.

On the other hand, Chapman points out a successful CCS experiment: Statoil, a Norwegian oil firm, has been injecting CO2 into an old reservoir on the North Sea Sleipner field for some time.

But critics say the Sleipner scheme involved a million tonnes over three years, while one 500 MW commercial station would need to absorb and store 3 million tonnes annually for 25 years.

Read original article at the Guardian

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