Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) is a method of decreasing carbon emissions that has the potential to aid in the fight against climate change. It’s a three-step procedure that involves trapping emissions generated by power plants or industrial processes like steel or cement manufacturing, transferring them, and storing them underground. We’ll look at the possible advantages of CCS and how it works in this article.
Carbon Capture and Storage – The Fundamentals.
Attempting to stop climate change is a complex task. According to specialists, the world has only 30 years to bring about a revolution in every economic element. Given the looming deadlines, the race is on to discover solutions that can cut annual emissions in half.
Wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power are all examples of renewable energy that can help reduce emissions in the power industry. Electric vehicles will aid in the reduction of carbon emissions from road transportation. There is a huge need for tree planting.
However, what about other innovative approaches? What significance will carbon capture play in climate change mitigation? Is it feasible for carbon capture to intervene with the looming carbon crisis and be the silver bullet the world needs right now?
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) captures carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial facilities such as metal and concrete manufacturing and oil & coal combustion in energy production. The captured CO2 is transferred to storage sites where it can no longer influence climate change.
The Benefits of Carbon Capture
Assessing Sites for Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon capture technology has been around for an extended period. As policymakers and corporate entities take carbon reduction issues more seriously, awareness of CCS has risen. Carbon capture has widespread appeal because it implies that there are solutions for halting or countering climate change that doesn’t necessitate drastic modifications to present carbon-intensive lifestyles, according to research by Jeff Johnson in “Capturing carbon: Can it save us?” C&EN, February 25, 2019,
Geothermal exploration is one way of assessing a potential carbon storage site, which has additional benefits discussed later in this article. Many potential investors rule out geothermal exploration initiatives due to the difficulty of finding a suitable location and the high cost of drilling and unearthing them.
How Will Carbon Capture Be The Silver Bullet?
The technology to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere is available; however, pulling CO2 from the earth’s atmosphere and pumping it deep into the Earth. The technology required to do that is yet to be thoroughly tested.
Carbon capture can achieve 14 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050 and is viewed as the only practical way to achieve deep decarbonization in the industrial sector. According to Judith Greenwald at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, carbon capture, use, and storage technologies can capture more than 90 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.
The very same Judith Greenwald has also stated that there are currently 26 commercial-scale carbon capture projects worldwide, with 21 more in early development and 13 in advanced development, reaching front-end engineering design.
Captured carbon dioxide can enhance oil recovery and manufacture fuels, building materials or stored in underground geologic formations.
Geothermal Exploration and Carbon Capture
CO2 is stored underground by compressing it to a supercritical fluid, then piping or shipping it to an injection well. More CO2 can be transported and stored by compressing the gas than if it remained in gaseous form. The CO2 is pumped into a geologic formation that is sufficiently deep and impenetrable (usually 1 km or more underground) to keep the CO2 in a supercritical state.
There has been research into investigating the use of CO2 as a carrier for geothermal energy capture. Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have made breakthroughs in carbon capture and storage, as well as in producing a high-value end product from carbon dioxide.
Carbon capture science has primarily concentrated on CO2 storage rather than CO2 usage, such as geothermal energy extraction, and performing both simultaneously is rare.
Suppose the CO2 heat and geothermal energy collected can be used to create electricity. In that case, it can serve as an income stream to help offset the cost of carbon capture and storage, according to Bev Betkowski in her article “Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows.” The University of Alberta, 20 September 2021,
Currently, one of the biggest roadblocks is that simply storing the CO2 long-term is not a perfect solution, and finding positive ways to utilize the CO2 would be hugely impactful. However, if geothermal electricity is generated as a result of these processes, it has the capacity to be used in a variety of ways.
Carbon capture may not be the silver bullet that finally slays climate change. Still, it is a great leap forward in reducing carbon emissions while at the same time exploring the potential of using the stored carbon in geothermal applications.
Want to read more about how Northstar has made a name in the geothermal field? Read about how our experts evaluated the viability of the world’s deepest geothermal well for Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. in Saskatchewan, Canada (DEEP). We’ve also completed Battelle’s downhole reservoir testing project to identify potential storage reservoirs for CO2 emissions from ethanol production in Illinois.
Northstar Downhole Specialists stands out from the competition by providing specialized services for identifying and confirming reservoir viability.
- Betkowski, Bev. “Geothermal energy could be generated from captured CO2, study shows.” The University of Alberta, 20 September 2021,
- Greenwald, Judith. “Carbon Capture.” Center for Climate and Energy Solutions,
- Johnson, Jeff. “Capturing carbon: Can it save us?” C&EN, 25 February 2019,