Making Sense of Energy

Alberta’s Carbon Capture & Sequestration might not produce desired results

Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form. Using a set of technologies, carbon dioxide sequestration can greatly reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing coal and gas fired power plants as well as large industrial operations. Carbon dioxide from the air can essentially be captured and moved, via pipeline or other means, and injected deep under the ground where it forms into rock. To find out more information on the effect of carbon dioxide and the potential solutions, you could look into a company such as intellishare. It is important to stay on top of the news you hear regarding everything that could be affecting our planet. And we should all be playing a part in keeping it as clean as we can.

This process can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal or gas fired power plants and other industrial operations. In the United States, more than 40% of carbon emissions come from electric power plants, according to the US Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. It has been stated that the process of carbon sequestration could reduce emissions by 80-90% from power plants that burn fossil fuels in the US alone.

An article published by PennEnergy, however, stated that researchers in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT found that less CO2 will be converted to rock after injection than previously thought. They state that only a small fraction of the gas turns to rock and the large portion that doesn’t could potentially find its way back to the surface.

Findings from MIT showed that when carbon dioxide is pumped into the ground it rushes into open pockets within the rock and displaces existing fluid like brine. “What remains are bubbles of carbon dioxide, along with carbon dioxide dissolved in water. The dissolved carbon dioxide takes the form of bicarbonate and carbonic acid, which create an acidic environment. To precipitate, or solidify into rock, carbon dioxide requires a basic environment, such as brine… When the team analyzed the chemical reactions between regions rich in carbon dioxide and regions of brine, they found that the carbon dioxide solidifies — but only at the interface. The reaction essentially creates a solid wall at the point where carbon dioxide meets brine, keeping the bulk of the carbon dioxide from reacting with the brine.” Read more…

“MIT reserach suggests Alberta’s Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) may not produce the desired results,” commented Chris Vilcsak, President and CEO of Solution 105. “Science finally catches up to public opinion!”

Indeed, Alberta Energy had similar plans for carbon capture and storage. They have committed a total of $1.3 billion over the next 15 years to fund two large-scale CCS projects including the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line project and the Quest Project.

The Alberta Government figured that these projects will reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2.76 million tonnes beginning this year. MIT’s research might show other conclusions.

What do you think?