Slide Show: What Does Carbon Capture and Storage Look Like?
From the North Sea to Texas, this slide show looks at existing technology to take the carbon dioxide out of coal burning and other fossil fuel use
Credits: COURTESY OF VATTENFALL
INDUSTRIAL CCS: Carbon capture and storage technology could also be applied to other large industrial sources of carbon dioxide: cement- and steelmaking, or aluminum smelting. StatoilHydro plans to build a test facility at its Mongstad refinery in Norway to examine how CCS might be applied to other industries.
Harald M. Valderhaug / StatoilHydro
POWER PLANT: Duke Energy is building a new power plant in Edwardsport, Ind., that will gasify coal before burning, so-called integrated gasification combined cycle technology or IGCC. When coal is gasified in this way, carbon dioxide can be stripped out during the gasification process. Duke is studying the feasibility of capturing 18 percent of the CO
2 that would be produced by the $2.35 billion facility, one of many commercial projects underway in the U.S. Tom Wolfe / Duke Energy
CO2 PIPELINE: There are already some 3,100 miles (4,988 kilometers) of pressurized pipelines, like the one pictured here, transporting carbon dioxide from naturally occurring deposits in Colorado, for example, to depleted oil fields in west Texas. The 320-mile (515 km) Green Pipeline under construction will connect petroleum reservoirs south of Houston with a variety of natural and manmade sources of CO
2 in Louisiana and Texas. The CO 2 can then be used to scour more oil out of the field. Courtesy of Denbury Resources, Inc
CO2 LEAK: The Chaffin Ranch geyser in Utah, pictured here, is an example of a natural outpouring of carbon dioxide stored deep within the earth. Such erupting CO
2 disperses too quickly in the atmosphere to pose a danger. © Jason Heath Advertisement
WELLHEAD: All that marks the surface above a pilot carbon dioxide storage facility south of Dayton, Tex., is a wellhead. Even when geologists attempted to pump the CO
2 back out of the ground using natural-gas techniques, it was impossible to extract it. Courtesy of Susan Hovorka, University of Texas at Austin
SMALL SCALE: It takes one small compressor (pictured on left) and three pipelines leading to three wells to compress and store a million metric tons of liquid carbon dioxide a year beneath the In Salah natural gas extraction plant in Algeria.
Courtesy of BP
CO2 POOL: The liquefied carbon dioxide has slowly spread through the Utsira sandstone formation in the Sleipner natural gas field and has stayed in place over the past 13 years. More than 10 million metric tons of CO
2 are now stored in the rocks rather than vented into the atmosphere, slowly spreading to cover 1.15 square miles (three square kilometers) as more CO 2 is pumped down as pictured here via seismic imaging. Courtesy of StatoilHydro
ROCK LOCK: The carbon dioxide is stored in between the pores in a sandstone type rock, as pictured here, where it mixes with water over decades and becomes permanently trapped.
Courtesy of Sally Benson, Stanford University Advertisement
CO2 STORAGE: Captured carbon dioxide can be pumped deep underground for permanent storage, as has been done with CO
2 extracted from natural gas at the Sleipner field in the North Sea. The artist's rendering here depicts the extraction well for the natural gas as well as the injection pipe for CO 2. Alligator film / BUG / StatoilHydro
CAPTURED CO2: By simply condensing the water vapor, nearly pure carbon dioxide can be captured. It is then compressed and stored in the big tanks pictured here, being lifted into place in September 2007. At full capacity, the oxyfuel boiler produces—and captures—nine metric tons of CO
2 every hour. Courtesy of Vattenfall
OXYFUEL: In September 2007 the oxyfuel combustion chamber is lifted into place at Schwarze Pumpe. By burning the coal in pure oxygen—hence the name oxyfuel—rather than ordinary air, the waste gases are a mix of water vapor and nearly pure carbon dioxide.
Courtesy of Vattenfall
CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE: The new boiler at the Schwarze Pumpe power plant in Spremberg, Germany, captures 95 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO
2) from its coal burning—a small demonstration of one option for capturing carbon and compressing it for transportation by pipeline or truck to a place where it can be buried or used. This photo was taken in October 2007 and shows the general layout of the carbon capture and storage addition to the 1,600 megawatt power plant. Courtesy of Vattenfall Advertisement Advertisement