Archive for category CO2 Storage

Carbon capture technologies should move faster now !

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

The nuke disaster in Japan is going to change the energy mix of the world soon.

The emphasize on renewables like solar, wind, geo thermal, tidal, wave, hydro etc will now become more.

For the earth quake and the tsunami that hit Japan climate change is probably not the reason. Nor the green house gasses. Probably not even the enhanced ppm of co2 in the atmosphere.

The need for speeding up the carbon capture from coal powered plants is now even more than ever before, now that nuke is going to take the back seat. Atleast for a while.
The CCS technology has to be perfected and implemented as soon as one can.

Carbon capture and sequestration technology for retro fitting of existing power plants also need to be hastened.

Nuclear  power provides about 6% of the world’s energy and 13–14% of the world’s electricity.

The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of USA has begun research under the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), partnering with other national laboratories, universities, and industry to develop state-of-the-art computational modeling and simulation tools to accelerate commercialization of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

CCSI is one of three areas of research under the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative announced late last year by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The others involve developing validation data and experimental work, and developing methodology and simulation tools to assess risk.

Both the above are good news for the CCS industry. The need for them to move fast  is very high.

Certainly extensions of old nuclear plants will get delayed or more likely, get terminated. All the new plants will also get delayed and many will get cancelled.
Newer and stricter regulations and laws will ensure that many nuclear projects may get put off or not permitted.
Many under developed and less developed countries may go for coal based power plants.
This is not going to help CO2 emission reduction.

CCS will have to come to the rescue immediately. CCS is not going to generate new electricity.

It can help new coal plants fitted with CCS get operational as coal still remains cheap.

To do carbon capture and storage on a temporary basis is expensive .  At present NETL, CCSI and several private players as well as government bodies are planning to capture carbon and store it as geological sequestration or as ocean sequestration. Technology is being perfected for carbon capture, liquefaction, transportation and storage.


Many stringent stipulations that will come into being for nuclear power plants will also apply for coal powered plants.

Therefore CCS will gain importance and hence the need to reduce the time to market of CCS technologies.

Objections  to Carbon capture and sequestration may be a little less than for a new nuclear plant.

If the concept is to store Co2,  temporarily till such time such time new processes for products from co2 are conceived, then it will be a great idea.

However, there is a great need to capture co2 and store it quickly.

CCSI will utilize a software infrastructure to accelerate the development and deployment cycle for bringing new, cost-effective CCS technologies to market in several important ways. The operative term is quick.

Promising concepts will be more quickly identified through rapid computational screening of devices and processes.

The time and expense to design and troubleshoot new devices and processes will be reduced through science-based optimal designs.

The technical risk in taking technology from laboratory-scale to commercial-scale will be more accurately quantified.

Deployment costs will be quantified more quickly by replacing some of the physical operational tests with virtual power plant simulations.

CCS is critical to curb climate change. Capture co2 from power plants and industrial facilities, and store it to prevent the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.DOE has started a number of programs to promote CCS, including the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative.

CCSI will develop a set of tools that can simulate scale-up of a broad suite of new carbon capture technologies, from laboratory to commercial scale.  In its first 5 years CCSI will focus on oxy-combustion and post-combustion capture.

CCSI will be using solid sorbents and advanced solvents. Pulverized coal power plants, which currently generate nearly half of USA’s electricity and are expected to emit 95percent of the United State’s coal-based CO2 emissionsbetween 2010 and 2030.

The CCSI is led by NETL.  CCSI thus leverages the core strengths of DOE’s national laboratories in modeling and simulation. The project brings together talent from several well known research centres like NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The CCSI’s initial industrial partners are ADA Environmental Solutions, Alstom Power, Ameren, Babcock Power, Babcock & Wilcox, Chevron, EPRI, Eastman, Fluor, General Electric, Ramgen Power Systems, and Southern Company.

There is this globalccsinstitute in Australia. The Institute connects parties around the world to address issues and learn from each other to accelerate the deployment of CCS projects. The global ccs institute too should get more funding and should fund/ lend more projects to start CCS.

Now, all these Government organisations of CCS,  may have to hasten their plans to reach out.
Similarly RECS the organization that fosters and advances education, scientific research, professional training and career networks for graduate students and young professionals in the CCS field.

They may need to look at training more people quickly.

The CCSI’s academic participants—Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Penn State University, Princeton University, and West Virginia University—bring unparalleled expertise in multiphase flow reactors, combustion, process synthesis and optimization, planning and scheduling, and process control techniques for energy processes. CCSI’s academic  section is pretty wide and very impressive. But it needs to move truly fast .

No sequestered carbon dioxide has any guarantee against earth quakes and tsunamis. However if the storage is made in zones that are less prone to earthquakes, it will be a lot safer.

With such solid backing of well known participants with proven capabilities, it is hoped that the carbon capture and storage technologies are moved forward faster than ever before as the need is now more than ever before.

CSLF set up in South Africa. The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) is a Ministerial-level internationalclimate change initiative that is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for theseparation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) for its transport and long-term safe storage. Organisations like CSLF in all countries should change their road map for ccs and speeden up. Time is of essence.
These organisations also need to invest on research in CO2 to products immediately.

CCS plus ‘ co2 to products ‘ is the  way to go !


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse Gas

Climate Change

Carbon Sequestration


Carbon capture and storage to commence in India with NTPC

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

National Thermal power corporation is an Indian company with expertise in power utilities, is better known as NTPC Ltd  in India.


Toshiba is the largest supplier of nuclear reactors in Japan. Given what has happened in Japan regarding the nuke melt down due to the earthquake and tsunami, Toshiba has to go slow on its nuclear division.

Whether the world is going to stop nuclear plants or not, there is going to be a slow down in new nuclear plants and in renewing old plants.


NTPC  is in talks with Toshiba Corp to build a pilot project in India to capture and store carbon emissions.

The Japanese power-equipment maker, Toshiba plans to develop its first 5-Mw carbon capture plant in India by 2016. This was confirmed by  Toshiba India Private Ltd Managing Director, Kenji Urai.

The project may be similar to the one set to start this year at a 47-Mw plant at Mikawa, Japan.

India plans to add about 64,000 Mw, or the equivalent of more than 50 new nuclear plants, in coal-fired electric plants in the five years through 2017. The country is seeking ways to reduce carbondioxide emissions, after agreeing to reduce the greenhouse gas in proportion to gross domestic product by 25 percent, compared to levels in 2005, by 2020.


It makes sense for India to build coal power plants with CCS technology.

Already the Government is facing stiff resistance for a coal fired power plant in Srikakulam, near Andhra.

India is a power starved country. India is probably the 5th largest co2 emitter. However, on a percapita basis, they are far below most other industrialised nations.

Carbon capture-and-storage technology typically traps emissions and pumps these underground, for what its promoters say is safe, permanent storage. So far, it has mostly been used in pilot projects and for storing only a portion of total plant emissions.


Critics say the cost is too high for its benefits. It’s certainly not economically feasible because  when with the  CCS equipment pre- fitted to a coal-based plant, it would double the investment.

Toshiba, Japan’s largest supplier of nuclear reactors, entered the Indian power market through a joint venture with Indian power utility JSW Energy Ltd.


Toshiba plans to sell $400 million of power-generation equipment in India by 2015. Through two joint ventures, Toshiba and JSW will open a plant in Chennai in July, to produce 3,000 Mw of boilers and turbines a year.

The joint venture is expecting orders from NTPC for four 660-Mw turbines this year and has already received orders for two 660-Mw turbines and generators from the Essar Group for its coal-fired Salaya plant in Gujarat.

The International Energy Agency supports carbon capture as a measure to limit greenhouse gases.

What happens when an earthquake hits the carbon geo sequestered, no one knows.

If  the leakage is slow, perhaps there will be time to do some damage control.

If all the co2 rushes out abruptly, it can cause mind boggling damage to mankind and climate.

The world needs about 3,400 projects,  by 2050 to reduce emissions.


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse gas


FutureGen selects Morgan county for its carbon storage project

Posted by on Monday, 14 March, 2011

FutureGen Alliance has selected Morgan County as the preferred site for its carbon storage project. This is part of FutureGen’s $1.2 billion project in developing clean coal technology. The selected site will store carbon dioxide from the retrofitted coal fired power plant-Ameren plant at Meredosia. The captured CO2 will be transported from the power plant to the storage site using pipeline. Atleast 25 surface acres are needed for a carbon injection facility in addition to a 1000 acre buffer zone. The CO2 piped from the Ameren plant will be injected into a sandstone formation at least 3500 feet beneath the earth. Geologists had predicted that this particular storage site has an estimated capacity of 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide/year.

Morgan, Christian, Douglas and Fayette counties were shortlisted for storing carbon dioxide but finally Morgan was selected based on certain factors. Among the factors that resulted in the selection of Morgan county as the storage site are

  • Geological structure which is suitable for long term storage of CO2
  • Close proximity to the power plant that simplifies pipeline routing to reduce the projects overall cost
  • Strong support from local community leaders and elected representatives in support of the project

Along with the carbon dioxide storage site, the Morgan county will also host a research and training facility and a visitor center. These facilities are critical to advance clean coal technology in the state of Illinois and worldwide.

This project will put Illinois in the world map as a center of clean coal technology and the investment to be made in the county will be a major boost to the economy of the region. This project would generate 1000 jobs in construction and services industry each.

The project cost is put at $1.3 billion with $1 billion federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act. Nearly 55% of the project cost would go towards retrofitting the existing Ameren power plant and remaining cost towards the storage facility. The Ameren power plant will be retrofitted with advanced oxy fuel combustion technology. Oxy-combustion burns coal with a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide instead of air to produce a concentrated carbon-dioxide stream for storage. If successfully applied, the technology could help existing coal-fired power plants reduce greenhouse-gas emissions without shifting to natural gas and meet proposed tougher Environmental Protection Agency regulations of traditional pollutants such as mercury.

Having shortlisted the storage site, the next step is the environmental analysis of the site by the environmental protection agency which will take 1.5 years. On getting the approval from the US department of energy (DOE), the construction of pipeline and power plant would start in 2012 to be completed 2015. The storage of CO2 in the proposed site will commence in 2016.


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Sequestration

Clean Coal Technology

Oxy – Fuel Combustion

Greenhouse Gas


Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation

Posted by on Friday, 11 March, 2011

The issue of carbon dioxide fertilization applies most immediately and understandably to managing forests and woodlands to reduce fire risk. In addition, carbon dioxide fertilization may have an effect on plant competition that contributes to shifts in species distribution, including post-fire recovery. This factor complicates projections about how southwestern forest and woodlands will be affected by global warming. Experiments testing the effects of carbon dioxide fertilization indicate rising atmospheric levels will result in an increase in herbaceous production (Nowak et al. 2004). This increase will translate into more fine fuels that can carry fire in forests and woodlands. Meanwhile, the improved growth of trees exposed to carbon dioxide fertilization indicates that rising levels of this greenhouse gas may exacerbate the tendency toward increasingly dense forests. Plants in lower light levels (i.e., understory plants) survive better in conditions of elevated carbon dioxide. The reintroduction of a surface fire regime can help counteract this tendency toward increased density.

Forest protection and reforestation are widely acknowledged means for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in plants, at least until a stand-replacing fire occurs. Not only does a stand-replacing fire release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as it burns plants and wood, it arguably may cause a reduction in the disturbed stand’s ability to sequester carbon until a full tree canopy is reestablished. Carbon dioxide fertilization may improve seedling survival rates after a large-scale disturbance, but this has not been tested in the field.

Reducing the risk of large-scale crown fires by treatments such as thinning understory trees could be seen as a means of keeping carbon sequestered in forests. Forestry practices such as thinning treatments, intermediate, shelterwood and seed-tree harvest cuts, as opposed to clear-cuts, also leave many mature trees standing. Carbon dioxide continues to be taken up by the remaining trees, which can grow better with the reduction of competition for limited resources. Meanwhile, carbon is also sequestered in the harvested lumber for decades or more. When small-diameter wood is used as biomass for heat or energy production, it displaces the need for using fossil fuels for this purpose.

Land managers may want to incorporate some of the information on carbon dioxide fertilization effects, including the value of intact forests for carbon sequestration, into their educational materials about the need to treat stands to reduce fire risk. They may also be interested in the scientific literature that contains many reports of carbon dioxide fertilization experiments involving different wildland species.

Carbon Fertilization

European carbon capture storage a speech by Charles Hendry

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 February, 2011


It’s an honour to be asked here today, and speak to you on how I see CCS moving forward. A subject very close to my heart, because its potential never ceases to amaze.

I think the advantages are clear. Fossil-fired electricity has a hatrick of ‘pros’. Reliability, availability and affordability!  It’s why fossil fuels will remain an important part in our future energy mix.

It’s not about low carbon versus affordability versus energy security. These must all work together.

This security is a major component to the economic regeneration that we are committed to starting.

Where CCS comes in

By 2020 well over half of the UK’s electricity generation will still be fuelled by coal and gas.

Look at the last few winters we’ve had? Look at how exceptionally cold and enduring they were.

We need to meet the challenge of de-carbonising the next generation of our fossil fuel-fired power stations.

That is why CCS is such a crucial element of this Government’s energy and climate change agenda. It is the only technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power stations – by as much as 90 per cent.

And it will play an important role in balancing the electricity system. Without CCS, halving emissions by 2050 will be 70 per cent more expensive.

CCS and green growth

We have already put in place one of the most comprehensive policy and regulatory frameworks in the world to encourage investment in CCS….

Europe also has a natural advantage in the form of the storage capacity available under the North Sea. The potential is enormous.

The estimated CO₂ storage capacity of the UK and its continental shelf alone is 22 GTonnes. That’s roughly 100 years of capacity for emissions from the power sector.

Demonstration of CCS

In the UK we have amongst the most advanced plans for a fossil fuelled power station with CCS anywhere in the world. We know better than anyone how difficult demonstration of CCS will be.

The market conditions are not adequate to fund the development and deployment of CCS at the pace we need.

That is why, as part of the Spending Review last October; we announced that up to a billion pounds will be invested in one of the world’s first commercial-scale CCS demonstrations on coal-fired electricity generating plant.

Projects 2-4

We know that 1 demonstration project is not sufficient in moving CCS to being a technically and commercially viable technology within the time frames required to meet our carbon reduction targets. That is why we have a commitment to continue public sector investment in a further 3 demonstration projects.

International policy

The work we do in delivering our first demonstration plants will provide large-scale exemplars. I want to see the experience and knowledge from these projects shared widely. We must learn from each other and share that knowledge with the rest of the world.

And we are supporting CCS capacity building in developing countries through the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Fund.

Domestic policy

This Government has, and will, put in place policies and regulatory frameworks to facilitate CCS but we must work with industry to address the delivery issues – the technical, financial and commercial challenges – if demonstration projects are to be built on time and CCS is to become commercially viable. That is why we set up the UK’s CCS Development Forum – to bring together leaders from industry, NGOs and the public sector to hold the Government to account on its CCS commitments.

We are also developing a CCS Roadmap to 2050 which will articulate our proposed timescales and set out the key technical, policy and commercial issues which need to be addressed, by when, and by whom, if CCS is to be commercially deployed from the 2020s and contribute to achievement of our 2050 target.


More than £110 billion of investment is needed in the UK in new power stations and grid upgrades over the next decade.

The hardest and most important challenge for the Department is on electricity market reform (EMR).

We want to drive investment in the UK and ensure this doesn’t go overseas, so we will ensure that the right level of an EPS is set and this is seen as a beacon of our long term investment framework


In short we need more energy but fewer emissions. And so to end where I began: the challenge is vast, the prospects daunting but it’s all within our reach. The glass is most definitely half full.

Much of the investment will have to be significantly bigger than in the past. And we need to take the public with us. Safety is a priority, but we also need to ensure we are explaining the benefits of CCS.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you all, and I look forward to hearing yours.

You can read the full speech here:

Fossil Fuels

Research in Carbon Capture Sequestration

Posted by on Monday, 14 February, 2011

RECS stands for Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration program.

Supported by the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), DOE, the program is for graduate students and early career professionals.

In fact, incidentally it is currently accepting applications for the RECS 2011.

RECS 2011, a collaboration between EnTech Strategies, Southern Company and SECARB-Ed, is supported by DOE, FE and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Other sponsors  include Alstom, American Electric Power and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

At present RECS accepts only 30 students in a year. The course is free. Not only is the course tution free, it also covers all housing and meal costs. The course lasts for just 10 days.

Firstly, I feel that the objective of the course currently  is to create future leaders and innovators in the area of carbon capture and storage.

President Obama has said in his recent highly popular speech, ” …. we need to out innovate the world”.

You can take it as America should out innovate China or America should out innovate Germany or Japan or India.

May be that is what he meant.

The dire need for mankind right now is to out innovate nature. Out innovate climate change.

Yes mankind has to out innovate climate change.

So, there is a need to make this course mandatory for most power plants all over the world.

Research in Carbon capture and storage or Research in CCS or sequestration, is important. Research experience is even more important as it will spur the young minds to get into action. Which is exactly what the power plants need. To capture carbon and sequester.

Every power plant should have atleast two  young employees who should have gone through the course within the next few years.
And they should have sponsored two bright undergrad or post grad students from their country. Exceptionally bright students.

There should be 100 students per batch and atleast 20 batches a year.

In other words, the objective would be to expose bright young minds to the feasibility and experience of research in carbon capture and sequestration.

The course must be charged and fees collected from respective powerplants.

Let us help create innovators who can out innovate climate change using CCS.

Carbon dioxide leakage raises questions in Alberta

Posted by on Tuesday, 18 January, 2011

I came across a news item about the carbon dioxide contamination in a farm in Saskatchewan province of Canada. This leakage is possibly from the nearby underground carbon dioxide storage site operated by Weyburn. This report gains importance in the backdrop of Alberta government amending an existing act on CCS recently. You can find a post on this topic here.

Weyburn project was initiated with the twin objectives of

  1. Providing a new lease of life to the depleted oil fields
  2. Finding ways to trap and store carbon dioxide underground without letting it into the atmosphere.

This project has so far trapped and stored about 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the past decade and is a major contributor to CCS research in Canada. There is an allegation of carbon dioxide contamination of a farm from the near by Weyburn storage site that according to the owner of the farm has polluted the pond water and harmed their animals. Will this be a setback to the Weyburn project (in particular) and (in general) CCS research in Canada?

The wildrose alliance and the NDP, the main critics of Alberta government in its carbon reduction efforts are highlighting this leakage episode to scrap Alberta governments multi billion dollar pledge to make CCS projects commercially viable. Alberta energy minister Ron Liepert is defending his government’s $2 billion commitment towards CCS technology to store carbon emissions despite comments from their critics. The minister continues to say “Carbon capture and storage takes place throughout the world, and all of the data that we have is that it can be stored safely”.

Weyburn project is the largest CCS demonstration project operating in the world. So when such an allegation is framed on this project, a couple of questions comes to my mind that needs to be answered – Will this be a beginning of end of the research in CCS? Or is this just a false propaganda by the critics of the CCS projects? I believe a ‘wait and watch’ approach would provide a satisfactory answer to the above question.

Faster Reactions for Injected Fluids Underground – Research

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

A study looked at data from the Miller oilfield in the North Sea, where BP had been pumping seawater into the reservoir for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

As oil was extracted, the water that was pumped out with it was analysed and this showed that minerals had grown and dissolved as the water travelled through the field. Significantly, PhD student Stephanie Houston found that water pumped out with the oil was especially rich in silica. This showed that silicates, usually thought of as very slow to react, had dissolved in the newly-injected seawater over less than a year.

This is the type of reaction that would be needed to make carbon dioxide stable in the pore waters. The study gives a clear indication that carbon dioxide sequestered underground could also react quickly with ordinary rocks to become assimilated into the deep formation water.


Locating Potential Carbon Sequestration Sites – NETL’s SEQURE

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Attached to airborne vehicles such as helicopters, SEQURE uses magnetic and methane sensors to quickly locate abandoned and leaking wells over large areas.

The magnetic sensors detect any steel well casings in the area, which are then depicted on maps that are used for ground reconnaissance. The magnetic sensors are able to detect at least 95 percent of the wells present in oil and gas fields.

In the 2005 proof-of-concept flight over the SaltCreek Oilfield in Wyoming, SEQURE’s magnetic sensors detected 133 of 139 wells. The remainder of the wells remained hidden because of corroded orremoved casing, or because the casing was made of a non-magnetic material,such as wood.

It was developed by NETL in conjunction with an international team of researchers from Apogee Scientific Inc.(Englewood, Colo.), Fugro Airborne Surveys (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada),and LaSen Inc. (Las Cruces, N.M.).


GE Gorgon – To Pump 3.3 Million Tons Of CO2 Into Ground

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

To help lower the global warming impact of one of the world’s largest natural gas fields, General Electric has supplied Chevron, Exxon Mobile and Shell with enough compression “trains”–the pumps and turbines that do the sequestering–to create the world’s largest carbon sequestration project. The trains will pump 3.3 million tons of CO2 released from natural gas mining back into the ground every year. That’s the equivalent of taking 630,000 cars off the road.

The project, called Gorgon, won’t go online for a couple of years, and GE won’t begin building the equipment trains for at least another year or two. Once built, the trains will redirect the CO2 back into an underground chamber 1.5 miles under the ocean.


CLIMAX 500 Climate Tech Startup Snapshot - Top 10 startups in 50 decarbonization avenues

Renewable Energy - Utility Scale Solar | Distributed Solar | Solar Thermal | Wind Power | Biomass heating and power | Biofuels | Hydro Power | Geothermal Energy

Energy Efficiency - Energy Efficient Buildings | Industrial Waste Heat Recovery | Low Carbon Thermal Power | Energy Efficient Industrial Equipment | Smart Grids | Heat Pumps | Digital for Decarbonization

Energy Storage - Battery Storage | Thermal & Mechanical Storage | Green Hydrogen

Agriculture & Food - Sustainable Forestry | Regenerative Agriculture | Smart Farming | Low Carbon Food | Agro Waste Management

Materials - Bio-based Materials | Advanced Materials | Product Use Efficiency | Industrial Resource Efficiency

Waste Management - Reducing Food Waste | Solid Waste Management

Water - Water Use Efficiency 

Decarbonizing Industries - Low Carbon Metals | Low Carbon Chemicals & Fertilizers | Low Carbon Construction Materials | Low Carbon Textiles & Fashion | Decarbonizing Oil & Gas Sector | Corporate Carbon Management

Low Carbon Mobility - Electric Mobility | Low Carbon Trucking | Low Carbon Marine Transport | Low Carbon Aviation | Low Carbon ICE Vehicles | Mass Transit 

GHG Management - CO2 Capture & Storage | C2V - CO2 to Value | Reducing Emissions from Livestock | Reducing Non-CO2 Industrial & Agricultural Emissions | Managing Large Carbon Sinks

Others - Low Carbon Lifestyles | Multi-stakeholder Collaboration | Moonshots