Currently, oil companies get most of their carbon dioxide from natural underground formations, injecting almost 100,000 tons daily. Carbon capture systems could eventually gain a share of this market. In the future, if Congress ever legislates that people have to capture CO2, Democrats and Republicans might agree that the most natural way to sequester the CO2 from fossil fuels would be to inject it back into the ground where it came from.
Coal-fired power plants produce an enormous amount of CO2 in their emissions. One way to deal with it is to separate it and sell it to oil companies to use for oil well flooding. Enick explained that using only carbon dioxide for oil extraction would also save tremendous amounts of water. If oil companies bought more CO2, it would help finance pipelines needed to take the CO2 from the power plant to the oil well.
The research funding goes into effect next year, and the scientists expect to make rapid progress. "I think we'll have some interesting laboratory results by the end of 2013," Beckman said.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500