Carbon dioxide capture and storage ‘mooted’ by new study of risks

Burying the climate change problem – Inderscience Publishers

geologic-co2-sequestrationBurying the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, has been mooted as one geoengineering approach to ameliorating climate change. To be effective, trapping the gas in geological deposits would be the for the very long term, thousands of years. Now, a team in Brazil, writing in the International Journal of Global Warming has reviewed the risk assessments for this technology and suggests a lack of knowledge means we should be cautious of turning to this method rather than finding sustainable ways to reduce emissions at their source.

Maísa Matos Paraguassú of the Federal University of Bahia and colleagues there and at Salvador University explain how the scientific consensus suggests that anthropogenic carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere underpins the greenhouse effect. Rising concentrations of the gas could lead to an uncontrollable rise in global average temperatures with concomitant effects on our planet’s climate and devastating local effects in extreme cases.

Numerous proposals have been put forward to sequester carbon dioxide from emissions sources, such as power stations the electricity-generating turbines within which are powered by fossil fuels, and vehicle exhausts. But, ultimately, there need to be global repositories within which the gas can be stored indefinitely in sublimed or mineralized form. Of course, the sequestration, conversion and transportation of trapped carbon dioxide has its own energy and emissions costs. Nevertheless, if sufficient of this greenhouse gas can be held within geological formations, then there might be a way to tame the potentially runaway effect of climate change that would ensue if atmospheric levels continue to rise.

“Risk can be obtained from the ‘combination of uncertainty and damage’, the ‘ratio between hazard and safeguard’, and the ‘combination of probability and consequence’,” the team reports, quoting various research teams from the last thirty years or so. For geological storage of carbon, there are technological risks as well as risks associated with the geology and geography of any chosen deposition site. The risks of a leak from a large deposit might well be enormous. It is difficult to determine how big that risk actually is because geological sites do not conform to the standardized structures and materials one would expect with a design industrial storage facility, for instance.

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Paraguassú, M.M., Câmara, G., Rocha, P.S. and Andrade, J.C.S. (2015) ‘An approach to assess risks of carbon geological storage technology’, Int. J. Global Warming, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp.89-109.

Abstract: Carbon geological storage (CGS) projects are designed to securely store carbon dioxide (CO2) for thousands of years. Because of this, there are several studies to evaluate the potential risks of long-term storage of CO2 in geological formations. This paper presents a new method for the qualitative risk assessment of CGS: the risk assessment of stored CO2 (RA-CO2) method. It consists of the systematic and structured identification of CO2 release risk scenarios arising from: seal, well, and fault and fracture zones. The uncertainties associated to each mapped risk scenario and the risks are qualitatively evaluated using the RA-CO2 method. The characteristics of the RA-CO2 method enable a comprehensive understanding of the underground evolution and future behaviour of the CO2 in various time scales and their influence on safety. For future studies, the validation of the proposed RA-CO2 method using a real case study is recommended.

[Note: a related paper from 2006 says much the same: http://www.uscsc.org/Files/Admin/Educational_Papers/AttachmentToUSCSCReportOnCCSSafetyPaper_GeologicalStorageRiskAssessment.pdf ]

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104 thoughts on “Carbon dioxide capture and storage ‘mooted’ by new study of risks

    • Yes, Daniel, sad news – that some people seem to think that we can ‘bury’ CO2 in QUANTITIES! – and without any risk. Then again, if you’re in favour of CSS you’ll find fracking to be very small beer by comparison. Put it this way, I’d rather live near a fracking site (temporary as it is) than a CSS site.

      • i never heard anyone say without risk.
        im not really in favor of CSS, in my region we don’t need it.
        but for poor countries it seemed a good way to use coal without the CO2 emissions. i accepted CSS as one tool that will be used. but we might not.

        i am agnostic about fracking.

      • @Daniel Kuhne:[..]in my region we don’t need it.
        but for poor countries it seemed a good way to use coal without the CO2What a patronising statement! Typical Greenie attitude: let some other poor b*gger suffer while I live well. It also makes you a NIMBY. If CO2 – according to your beliefs – is a ‘global’ problem then it must be sequestered globally, not just in ‘poor’ countries, surely. Or do ‘poor’ countries have more CO2 than developed countries?

      • (To fix previous HTML)

        @Daniel Kuhne:

        [..]in my region we don’t need it.
        but for poor countries it seemed a good way to use coal without the CO2

        What a patronising statement! Typical Greenie attitude: let some other poor b*gger suffer while I live well. It also makes you a NIMBY. If CO2 – according to your beliefs – is a ‘global’ problem then it must be sequestered globally, not just in ‘poor’ countries, surely. Or do ‘poor’ countries have more CO2 than developed countries?

      • “let some other poor b*gger suffer while I live well.”

        not at all.

        i want the poor to suffer less than they do now.
        i have no problem with poor countries building coal plants, even without CSS. while i do hope they can afford something better than coal.

        we just don’t need it because we are one of the richest countries and have hydro and nuclear in my region.
        so no need for CSS.

        “If CO2 – according to your beliefs – is a ‘global’ problem then it must be sequestered globally, not just in ‘poor’ countries, surely. Or do ‘poor’ countries have more CO2 than developed countries?”

        oh dear, the point was that coal is still the cheapest energy source. so it is only normal that poor countries’ first choice would be coal.

        i personally think, poor countries should not yet care about CO2 emissions, they should try to catch up. or atleast make some progress to increase their standard of living. and Coal is a good way to kickstart that.

        we the first world have cause the vast majority of the increased CO2 concentration, we are the ones that need to first switch to CO2 neutraler energy sources.

        Ottmar Edenhofer gave a very good talk about this a few years back.

      • DK: CSS = Carbon Sequestration and Storage. But if Carbon Capture and Storage suits, so be it.

        oh dear, the point was that coal is still the cheapest energy source. so it is only normal that poor countries’ first choice would be coal.

        You really, really need to work on this patronising style of yours. With attitudes like that towards burning evil coal you’ll get drummed out of Greenpiss.

        So how come you are happy for ‘poor’ countries to pump limitless CO2 into the atmosphere, yet Obama is determined that a rich country (USA) should not?

      • “You really, really need to work on this patronising style of yours. ”

        mmh, am I? i hoped not.

        “With attitudes like that towards burning evil coal you’ll get drummed out of Greenpiss.”

        lol they would hate me, pro nuclear and pro GMO… they already hate me, then i don’t care about polar bears….

        i like science. greenpeace not.

        “So how come you are happy for ‘poor’ countries to pump limitless CO2 into the atmosphere, yet Obama is determined that a rich country (USA) should not?”

        limitless? no
        i don’t care for Obama.
        I do think rich countries should reduce emissions first, we caused the problem (if one sees it as a problem) and have the money to make the switch (over decades to come) The poor countries didn’t cause the problem and do not have the money.

      • The new EPA regs for CO2 are essentially based on this idea that if you have a coal fired plant, that CO2 must be taxed or sequestered. But if you are lucky/wealthy enough to burn natural gas for your electricity, the resulting CO2 needs no additional tax and need not be sequestered. They set an arbitrary level above which the CO2 matters, and that level arbitrarily happens to be above the level at which natural gas produces CO2.

        Natural gas burners have been absolved of their carbon sins, their byproducts don’t stink they smell like roses.

      • I think Daniel needs to go to Lagos, Nigeria, Africa to see how bad unreliable power generation can be for “poor nations”. As long as your power supply is OK eh Daniel?

      • “I think Daniel needs to go to Lagos, Nigeria, Africa to see how bad unreliable power generation can be for “poor nations”. As long as your power supply is OK eh Daniel?”

        wtf are you on about? as i said, i have no problem with poor countries building coal plants, and Nigeria is in fact building one.

        but they also us other methods to get their power problem under controll.
        but when you think you can do better than they do themself, go there and give them advice as to how to solve their problems……

        often those that think CO2 is no problem bring up poor countries and that they need the cheap fossil fuels.
        yet what do they do to get them fossil fuels? nothing.

      • Patrick April 14, 2015 at 12:30 am
        I think Daniel needs to go to Lagos, Nigeria, Africa to see how bad unreliable power generation can be for “poor nations”. As long as your power supply is OK eh Daniel?

        I think he needs to go to almost ANY country in Africa. Electricity supply there is generally intermittent, and as someone who needs reliable power 24/7/365, it’s a real problem. Let’s solve the “solvable” problems first – like pure drinking water, reliable food supply, medical care, housing, power, heating, sewage etc, etc, before we attempt the impossible.

      • xyzzy11

        so you are not one of those that thinks international aid to poor countries should be cut?
        but how come that after all those decades of cheap fossil fuels, they still have no proper power grids and power generation in most African nations?

        have aid projects that tackle exactly those problems, been halted because of AGW? or reduced because of AGW?

        Do people in Africa actually agree that AGW is no problem?
        how come i have seen protests in Africa demanding AGW mitigation? why did they not protest against AGW mitigation and demanded electricity, water and food?

        could it be that also inAfrica, people rather listen to experts than blogs?

    • Hi Daniel,

      If CCS is an ‘answer’, the question must have been a very poor one.
      I’ll admit, I don’t find sufficient real evidence to convince me that human contributions to atmospheric CO2 is a problem, so right from the start I’m against wasting the intellectual and material effort (let alone the obscene amount of money) on developing CCS since I see it as a technology without any redeemable purpose; however if CO2 emission was a real problem, CCS in its current form is a non-starter because:
      1. the amine used to capture the CO2 from the flue gas is carcinogenic and the process (of capturing CO2 from the flue gas by dissolution into the amine, then removing the CO2 from the amine, disposing of the CO2 and recovering the amine for re-use) is not totally reversible, so inevitably some amine is lost to the environment, which is one reason (a show-stopper) why plans for industrial scale testing of CCS have ground to a halt.
      Who wants to live next to a cancer factory?
      2. CO2 sequestration depends upon finding a suitable reservoir with a suitable cap and hoping that oilfield well construction will present a permanent barrier to the re-release of that injected CO2. Oil wells are designed to last about 30 or 40 years, by which time their casing strings are corroded, the cement sheaths have crumbled, swelling and collapsing geology in the over-burden may have collapsed one or more casings and if there are any minor weaknesses in the rock present that break and move (which happens naturally from time to time), then a well has no chance of resisting when the earth moves. It’s a pipe dream to imagine that a CO2 sequestration reservoir has any chance of remaining isolated from the surface for ever without an onerous regimen of well intervention, maintenance and upkeep.
      Who is paying for that in perpetuity?
      3. Sequestration reservoirs are generally saline aquifers which are shallower than typical oil or gas reservoirs and by pumping compressed CO2 into the water filled reservoir, there will be a possibility of some amount of fracture development (whether unintentional or by design). So considering all the hyperventilating you’ve heard from uninformed Greenpricks and NIMBYs about the imagined dangers of fracking leading to oil leaks to surface, consider the consequence of a CO2 reservoir leaking to surface (which kills people) compared to the consequence of an oil or gas reservoir leaking to surface (which makes a bit of a mess) and marvel that no one has thought to protest about the dangers of the sequestration part of CCS.
      Who reckons they can hold their breath long enough to run away from a major CO2 leak?
      3. The carbon (dioxide) capture stage adds 15-20% to the fuel bill of the industrial process to which it’s foisted upon – which means 15-25% more windmills cluttering up the landscape and mincing raptors and all very contrary to the drive to energy efficiency we keep hearing about (which is about the only sensible ‘initiative’ to come out of the whole gullible warming story).
      Who is going to pay a 15-20% premium on their energy bills?
      …(which thanks to market penetration of subsidised unreliable/intermittent sources are already ‘necessarily skyrocketing’, as Obummer says he wants them to)

      So, if cooler heads are publically saying what anyone who’s been trying to develop CCS has been saying privately for years, then it’s not bad news at all, it’s a long over-due reality check.
      The easiest way to capture CO2 (if we must) is biologically; plant a tree and make stuff out of the wood, turn compostable waste into topsoil and grow things in it.
      The most permanent way to sequester CO2 is geologically (by turning carbon compounds into limestone or coal, but I suspect GreenPricks would have something to say about dumping at sea).

      • Damn, there are four points above, not three plus a third one!
        Behold my keyboard proficiency and pity me.

      • some good points.
        and i still think it is bad news, as the risks reem too high. one less possible answer to the problem (which some do not see as a problem)

      • erny72 – I think you are missing the main point : The aim is not to prevent CO2 emissions, the aim is prevent everything. CO2 is just a lever, and CCS (CSS) is just a tool. Once CCS has been approved funded and enforced, then the costs overwhelm the fossil fuel industry. If by some terrible mischance CCS actually works, then there will be a campaign to close it down. There is already a big anti-nuclear campaign, and if fossil fuels can be closed down (or at least heavily constrained) then I suspect the next target will be wind farms (a very easy target) and solar. Hydro not so much, because there isn’t that much scope for expansion.

  1. The best way to sequester carbon, assuming that carbon sequestering make sense in the first place, is to store the carbon in trees, or lumber or firewood. Wood can be used in the future and grown for free.
    I am not in the carbon sequestering camp however. The carbon boondoggle is just BS. IMO.

    • Oooops the paper was written by a bunch of Brazilians, and we know how much Brazilians hate trees! Pardon moi for my cultural insensitivity.

    • I suspect the best way to sequestor CO2 might be by combining it with Calcium/Magnesium to form limestone/dolomite. How to do that on the necessary scale without undue cost or side affects would be the issue.

      • The easiest way to make limestone is to have a steady rain of dead shellfish onto the sea bottom above the carbonate compensation depth (shallower than about 4000m in most oceans would do it).
        So, If sequestration were necessary, feed the shell fish, or some stage of the food chain beneath them so the well fed critters sequester lots of carbon in their shells before dying in droves and sinking into the calcareous ooze to become tomorrow’s white cliffs of somewhere.
        So; we can forget about all these fancy-pansty sewage treatment works and resume dumping jobbies at sea in order to save the planet for a start.

        …do I need a /sarc tag here?

      • “Why sequester/store CO2 at all?” Bingo, we have a winner
        It’s call “broken window” economics with tax payer money. That means governments will go broke fasted as their currencies valve’s inflates.

      • Sorry, inflates should be deflate. Value will deflate while money supply inflates.

    • True Paul, just plant trees. The Australian Artesian Basin is huge. The underground water would be enough to plant trees coast to coast.

  2. We can use fossil fuels to generate the power necessary to mine uranium to run the nuclear power plants to generate the electricity to power nuclear fusion to augment the wind farms to power the electric vehicles that tend the solar arrays that generate the green energy to operate the pumps that will sequester the CO2 generated by the fossil fuels.

    Simple. Clean. Efficient. Green.

    • Max,
      I am not an expert on CCS although I was involved in the detailed design of a successful device to separate CO2 from the atmosphere. You may be more knowledgeable than I am about current technology..
      From what I know compressors (energy hogs) are used to compress the CO2 to 150 bar or even higher (circa 1500 psi) .
      The moisture is removed by this process. The process consumes about 30% of the energy of the electricity generation plant ergo a significant amount of heat is dumped into the atmosphere or all the energy required for compression since the heat must be removed with inter-stage coolers. One wonders if they have looked at the heat and energy balance. Why heat the earth with foolish technology?
      I doubt that use of unreliable solar panels or wind energy would ever be sufficient to make up the 30% energy wasted and used to heat the atmosphere. Sounds like a big UHI machine with local climate change. Just my opinion but CCS is dumb also because it sequesters O2! Remember Bush cancelled the program for a good reason.

      A question that is often asked is ‘What to do with the CO2 after it has been captured?’ Small quantities of essentially pure CO2 can be used for industrial applications including carbonated beverages but, at the scale required for significantly reducing atmospheric CO2 emissions, the two main options for CO2 capture are (a) using CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) or (b) permanent sequestration. For these applications, it is necessary to compress CO2 to about 150 bar. Multiple compressor stages with inter-stage cooling are necessary to reach this minimum miscible pressure for EOR.

      http://www.kbr.com/Technologies/Process-Technologies/CO2-Compression-and-Sequestration/

      • Catcracking – many thanks.
        If a bottle of 150 bar goes off, it would make an unpleasant mess.
        I was at a conference in Birmingham a few years past, and there was a presentation by a Fire and Rescue professional, with slides from a gas bottle facility that had had a fire. Some of the bottles had liberated their valves, and it looked like it had been targeted by about three score cruise missiles!
        Now, holes punched through walls, doors, windows, and anything else.
        Pressure – looked after well – is fine.
        But – looked after sloppily – it can be a killer.

        Auto

  3. You mean like shipping the CO2 to Brazil and trucking it on the Amazon Highway to a storage site? Yes, that would be a problem. Ask the people of Cameroon about CO2 storage leaks.

    • We could use supertanker sailboats to ship it to Brazil, and solar powered trucks to get it to the seaports for export and from the seaport to the sequestration site. Then use windmills to pump it underground. See how simple that is?

      • Ken,
        we’re working on replacing the sail-power with utilising the degradation of unicorn dust.
        Given enough – big enough – grants, this should be ready for a trial plant in the mid-to-late ’20s.
        Assuming unicorns don’t stay extinct.
        Just send money.

        Auto

      • Auto you are thinking outside the box. We need more of that.

        I was thinking that we should harness the butterfly effect. Use it to counteract the greenhouse effect.

  4. Of all the insanities of the alarmist trough , this is the most blindingly stupid .

    You cannot drive from Colorado Springs to Denver without passing at least one kilometer long train full of Wyoming coal to power the Front Range .

    Add 2 atoms of oxygen to each atom of carbon in that endless train of trains and contemplate injecting it under high pressure into the ground ?

    Absolute lunacy .
    But I guess good for a grant .

    • RIGHT ON!
      It would take at least twice the number of rail cars and more like 4 times the number of those used to provide coal. Carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in water) would destroy pipeline rapidly. And then once under ground dissolve the storage area. The problems are endless and the fixes are more expensive than the energy provided – achieving Obama’s goal – no more nonrenewable energy.

    • Good point, Bob. Obviously the sequester process needs to separate and release the O2 and bury just the C. Needs just a bit more energy …….

  5. As an added note, the paper was in the ” International Journal of Global Warming”. They are still using the term global warming?

    The editorial board includes the following:

    Editor in Chief
    Dincer, Ibrahim, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

    Editorial Assistant
    Colpan, Can Ozgur, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey

    Editorial Board Members
    Barker, T., University of Cambridge, UK
    Betts, R.A., MET Office, UK
    Bowers, Wade, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
    Budzianowski, Wojciech, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland
    Dimitriou, H., University College London, UK
    Imai, H., Kyoto University, Japan
    Jones, I.S.F., University of Sydney, Australia
    Leal Filho, Walter, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
    Massel, S., Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
    Midilli, Adnan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Turkey
    Munasinghe, Mohan, Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND), Sri Lanka
    Reis, A. Heitor, University of Évora, Portugal
    Riffat, S., University of Nottingham, UK
    Sawa, T., Kyoto University, Japan
    Schaffer, D., TWAS, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Italy
    Sen, Z., Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
    Singh, H.B., NASA Ames Research Center, USA
    Todorovic, M., University of Belgrade, Serbia
    Von Weizsäcker, E.U., University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
    Warner, K., United Nations University, Germany
    Wu, Desheng (Dash), University of Toronto, Canada
    Yildiz, Ilhami, Dalhousie University, Canada
    Zhang, Xin-Rong (Ron), Peking University, China
    Zhang, Zhihua, Beijing Normal University, China

      • I have been getting the Bios from their various site… The board is questionable wrt AGW.

    • Only one Australian.
      http://iansfjones.com/
      His heart is in the right place: “he aims to create a global platform for ocean nourishment that will help alleviate climate change. He also intends to provide food security for those in need.“. I hope his head is too.

  6. Over 80% of the energy used by the US is fossil fueled based. How do they plan on putting CCS on all the automotive/truck tailpipes, water and space heater flues, jet engines, etc?

    • Beyond the simple fact that CCS is simply not economically scalable to any meaningful degree of pCO2 lowering, the inconsistencies in the Eco-Green-CAGW religion are everywhere.

      – They fight any/all nuclear generating solutions to produce the reliable base load power that could power the nation’s electric cars, homes, offices, factories.

      They fight the single, secure, long-term geologically safe high level nuclear waste storage site in Nevada, and in doing so force many dozens of dispersed, smaller contained storage sites at decommissioned reactors around the country.

      – They fight new high voltage powerline projects that are needed to establish a reliable power transmission grid to offset grid instabilities caused by eliminating coal-powered generating plants. Yet they see electricity is seen as Green.

      – They fight new copper and rare earth mines of any kind everywhere, but both renewable energy sources, wind and solar, and electric cars, require robust access to these minerals for their sustained production and replacement.

      – They point to natural gas as the key element that has reduced US CO2 output from coal, yet they fight fracking at every opportunity.

      What we have today is simply an evolving system of shifted CO2 emissions. A Tesla car only shifts the CO2 elsewhere in the lifecycle and energy chain, while driving up overall costs. A PV solar farm simply shifts the CO2 and mining costs to China and replaces nothing in terms of grid base load production requirements.

      And CO2 CCS is simply the “head fake” the EPA is trying use in justifying imposing CO2 limits. It is all just a Big Green Lie. The reality is it is about seizing control and gaining power for an ideology of socialism.

      • Joel…
        “And CO2 CCS is simply the “head fake” the EPA is trying use in justifying imposing CO2 limits. It is all just a Big Green Lie. The reality is it is about seizing control and gaining power for an ideology of socialism.”

        BINGO!
        Virtually all the green energy claims based on the false “premise” that green energy is capable or replacing fossil fuels any time in the near future. The failure of Cellulosic ethanol fuels to achieve the mandated fuel mix is a glaring example of the huge failure. To suggest we could provide our transportation needs with crops is insane.
        The energy that will replace our fossil fuel needs is none of the weak technologies currently subsidized. .

  7. Dr. Engelbeen posted a graph on the Dr. Salby’s thread
    I moved sink rate up so for the 10 year period ~1987 to ~1997, sink and atmosphere are in an ‘artificial balance’, then added global temperature anomaly.

    What I found very, very surprising is that every twist and turn in the CO2 rates is matched by the global temperatures, or vice-versa , but with rising trend.
    I have to admit I have not bothered much with the CO2 in the past; is this normal or is someone somewhere trying to match two sets of data?
    A clarification would be welcome .

  8. Burning fossil fuels today releases CO2 into the atmosphere, where green plants immediately begin sequestering the carbon and returning the oxygen into the air. Any effective sequestration would systematically pull oxygen from the air and not replace it. Be interested in hearing from the number crunchers here, “Would widespread sequestration reduce ambient oxygen by a detectible amount?”

    • Juan Slayton

      Any effective sequestration would systematically pull oxygen from the air and not replace it. Be interested in hearing from the number crunchers here, “Would widespread sequestration reduce ambient oxygen by a detectible amount?”

      No, it will not. Assume “all” of the readily available carbon is burned over a short period – so our current CO2 levels go up from 400 ppm to 600 ppm.
      600 ppm = .600 ppt = 0.000600 parts per “one” right?

      The oxygen that would be combined with carbon to form that 0.000600 CO2 compares with 0.21 oxygen in air.
      Looking at it differently, 0.21 = 210,000 ppm – 200 ppm (CO2 increase) = 209,800 ppm oxygen relative concentration.

  9. One of the Editorial board members is RA Betts of the Met Office see above.

    In this video he says that increased CO2 yields less water extraction from the soil, reducing drought. Time stamp 2:09

    Betts babbles bout drought

      • Dicky Betts fans know that he’s a man of good humor, still such damnable conflations could lead to fist fights in certain parts of the world.
        Anyhow, thanks for the link- went perfectly with our rainy day.

  10. Lessee here…
    2 “mights”
    1 “could”
    1 “potentially
    2 “suggests”

    The plants are hungry. If you listen carefully it might be suggested that you could potentially hear the following.
    “What do we want?”
    “CO2!”
    “When do we want it?”
    “NOW!”

    What say we just skip the whole idea of CCS, eh?

    • I just realized that if plants ever get the vote CCS will definitely be off the table, nuclear, wind, hydro, and solar will be taxed into oblivion, and vegans will be persecuted to the ends of the earth and composted just for spite. It could potentially happen if Super-Intelligent Machines take over the earth and are looking for ways to amuse themselves.

      C’mon, now. It’s no more fanciful than safe, cost effective CCS is it?

      • Coal is not good. The exhaust from coal combustion is a delightful mix of unpleasant materials like SOx, NOx, heavy metals, various particulates, and even enough radioactive material to get them shut down were they a nuclear power plant. CO2 is probably the nicest thing to come out of the stack. You can gasify or liquefact coal into cleaner and more useful fuels, but that has its own problems and energy costs.

  11. The whole idea of storing co2 underground is preposterous. For a start it will need to be permanent storage which frankly is impossible unless it can be converted into some solid form that will not decompose into a gas that might eventually escape. Ok, this might be feasible, but if co2 is really that much of a danger it must be better not to create additional quantities of it in the first place. The only answer to producing electricity in reliable quantity that excludes co2 as a by product is to use the nuclear process in some way. Until the world takes this onboard I will not take AGW seriously.

  12. The risk of mankind miscalculating the safety of CO2 capture and storage…high.
    The risk of stupid people doing something stupid…priceless.

    Pumping a gas under ground where, if it leaks can kill people in its concentrated form is insane.

    • Storing CO2 underground is feasible, the risk is negligible. CO2 isn’t flammable, that’s the key to why it’s super safe.

      I think the Brazilian study is BS. But since underground storage capacity does have limits, I’m leaning towards just pumping the CO2 in liquid phase into a very deep water location. That should keep it out of sight for a while.

      • Um Fernando, CO2 in concentrated quantity is far from super safe. Please read up about the Lake Nyos disaster and then tell me again that underground storage of huge quantities of CO2 is a good idea.

      • Ad ad, that was a massive ejection in a volcanic crater. CO2 doesn’t “massively eject” from an injection well. The fact that you brought up Nyos tells me you do have a lot to learn. Why don’t you travel to Bravo Dome (in New Mexico), or West Texas and observe how CO2 is handled?

        By the way, I didn’t write to support underground storage, because that has a limit. A more sensible approach is to pump it into a deep water pool.

      • A more sensible solution is to let the plants have free access to it. It’s the sustainable solution……

      • Fernando Leanme “…pump it into a deep water pool….”
        Like Lake Nyos, you mean? ;)

        No worries, nature already has a tried, proven and aesthetically acceptable method of CCS. It’s called “tree”.

  13. “Risk can be obtained from the ‘combination of uncertainty and damage’, the ‘ratio between hazard and safeguard’, and the ‘combination of probability and consequence’

    Exactly. It’s standard risk assessment as a prequel to managing the project. We normally talk about probabilty and impact. Draw a graph of assessment and that gives the possible cost BUT one should never forget the adage of prediction being difficult especially about the future.

  14. I hate to tell you people this, but the prototype for this, in miniature form, already exists. Want proof? here’s a video.

    • One frigid afternoon Vladimir was standing in a mile long queue, so typical of the Soviet era, hoping to buy a sliver of meat.

      Trudging through the knee-deep snow carrying to huge, heavy suitcases was his friend Petre.

      The two chatted for a few minutes, and then Vladimir asked Petre for the time.

      Petre looked at his watch, and said, “Three thirty two.”

      “Say, that’s a fine watch!”

      “Yes, but zeez batteries are killingsk me.”

  15. They should make the storage short term – so when they cause famine and an ice age, they can let it back out again….

  16. The oceans do this all the time for free. The result is limestone, dolomite, and chalk. Permanent stable sinks unless recycled by subduction zone volcanos.

  17. Hadn’t we already decided to tile outer space with some kind of reflective tiles?
    Or was the plan to seed all of the clouds.
    Or paint all rooftops white.
    I lost track.

  18. understatement: “The risks of a leak from a large deposit might well be enormous.” A leak would kill all air-breathing life downstream, since CO2 is heavier than the standard atmosphere!

  19. @ Daniel Kuhn April 13, 2015 at 11:20 am You say “Ottmar Edenhofer gave a very good talk about this a few years back.”

    Did you miss Edenhofer’s talk in which he stated that “climate change” was the vehicle for a wealth transfer from the developed countries to the underdeveloped ones rather that “saving the world”?

    • no, and as i read alot of interviews with him, and presentations he gave, i knew exactly what he meant in the NZZ.
      and i think he was spot on.

  20. ‘International Journal of Global Warming’
    should that not be the ‘International Journal of Global Hiatus’ ?
    Meanwhile we once again visit the land of models where facts are not needed and reality is to be avoided at all costs.

  21. The “hint” to plants is perfect – the more CO2 you have in the air, the more they will grow. Another hint one is that CO2 storage is a deadly danger – working in a mining company for many years, many geologists/mining engineers can confirm that trapped CO2 is one of the key killers of mining staff underground. It is a silent & fast killer that leaves nearly no chance for reaction. Even for experienced people. Now imagine what will happen to people living in villages, or valleys, towns nearby – everything that serves as flow direction, or basin/sink will do. A few minutes will be sufficient to wipe out everythink on its way- Nobody (please!) tell that underground chambers are reasonably safe – the gas will find its way if under enough pressure … and given enough time. This is a dangerous, expensive and not necessary waste of time. Its hard to believe that this is seriously discussed.

  22. ” But, ultimately, there need to be global repositories within which the gas can be stored indefinitely in sublimed or mineralized form.”
    Whatever does that mean? I can understand “mineralized”, it would mean conversion to carbonate rock, a process that is however likely to be very slow underground if it occurs at all, but “sublimed”? A sublimed substance has been transformed from a solid to a gaseous state without passing a liquid phase. Something that is not applicable to CO2 produced by combustion and physically impossible under the conditions of underground CCS storage. It is only possible at temperatures and pressures below the triple point (colder than 56 degrees C and pressure <5 atmospheres).
    As a matter of fact CO2 in CCS will have to be stored as a supercritical fluid. Supercritical CO2 is among other things a very good solvent for virtually any organic material, which means that any CO2 leaking from CCS is likely to bring a lot of interesting chemicals along.

    [“Sub-limed” perhaps -as in combined with ?? back to limestone rock? .mod]

    • tty, Sublimation is the process by which a material changes state from solid directly to gas without existing as a liquid in between (so it does melt and then boil). A common example is CO2 which sublimes from solid (dry ice) to gas without existing as a liquid.
      Dictionary.com states in addition:
      verb (used without object), sublimed, subliming.
      Chemistry. to volatilize from the solid state to a gas, and then condense again as a solid without passing through the liquid state.
      I admit I didn’t know that one could talk about sublimation from gas to solid.
      So that will be what the paper is suggesting; making dry ice out of the CO2 that’s captured from flue gas and then disposing of it appropriately. Maybe they consider using it in smoke machines in Rio’s nightclubs; oh, wait a minute…

      • Damn it! I mean “..so it does NOT melt and then…”
        The keyboard quamby is on a roll tonight!

  23. Converting huge amounts of CO2 into huge amounts of limestone by combining carboxhydric acid H2CO3 with calcium hydroxide would need huge amounts of calcium oxide CaO.
    How do you think is the industrial process to make CaO? It is the exact contrary: You take huge amounts of limestone and you heat them at an 800°C temperature. Then CO2 is freed in the atmosphere and CaO is produced.
    So it would purely silly to trap the CO2 into limestone since there is as much CO2 freed as CO2 trapped.
    Not speaking about the huge amounts of energy needed…

  24. Reading about CCS it makes me wonder what those people near Lake Tanganiyka thought as it happened.

    Watching people dropping in front of them, fires suddenly dieing out and then heaving for air only to discover there is none. As unpleasant as choking on something and trying do draw just any oxygen in is, breathing perfectly but still not getting any air must have been utterly terrifying.

    It can’t have been a pleasant way to go, and people wanr to expose large numbers of people to it.

  25. The very notion of storing a gas underground for geologic timescales is about as unsustainable a thing as I can imagine. Why are the greenies even on this, I wonder.

    I propose a solution much more sustainable. We cryogenically separate CO2 from the atmosphere as is done today. Then we electrolytically reduce the carbon all the way back to elemental C and liberate the Oxygen. The Carbon obtained is then pressed into graphite blocks for permanent storage and sequestration. This atmosphere processing plant would need a lot of energy to run, so a Thorium Reactor would be used for power. So far, all green, very sustainable.

    The final issue is what to do with all that graphite. Again a sustainable answer suggests itself. We could use old coal strip mines as repositories. The graphite blocks are stacked where the coal was extracted, and the the site landscaped over. In this way, the carbon is sequestered and old, dangerous strip mines are reclaimed and the land restored. The whole plan is as green and sustainable as could be.
    Science!

  26. What’s with these plant hating Carbon Capture & Sequestration fanatics? Why do these ecobigots want to starve the flora of Mother Earth? And by extension, starve the fauna as well? Why do they want to cheat Godess Gaia of her overdue greening of the planet? A more sensible solution is to let the plants have free access to all of the CO2 possible. It’s the sustainable solution…… and Oh…. So……Green!

  27. Not enough thinking outside the box, here. If timber didn’t decay when a tree died, it would soon be buried under the leaf litter, eventually turning into coal. The process takes eons, but the carbon is sequestered all that time. In the future Man would be able to use it for fuel as he comes out of the next dark ages (a result of the green movement).

    How do we make that happen? First we kill all the lawyers – not as part of this process, but just on principle – then we kill all the termites. That should do it. (And, no, I’m not serious).

  28. In the latest issue of Discovery magazine it seems that strong UV converts about 5 % of co2 into O2 + C in one step. The rest is converted to CO + O. I wonder what the implications of this are? Not that the sun produces strong UV light, does it? Does that mean that somewhere, before man started producing the evil molecule, that the earth was adding co2 naturally in order to keep a balance? Or how close were we in having plant life shut down? Talk about an extinction event!! And since I don’t think that co2 was added in a slow and deliberate manner, why aren’t there spikes in the co2 record as per the IPCC graph relating to temperature? In any 5 year period there could be a spike of +/- 25% or more. And then, what could have caused such a large increase in co2?

    I got so many questions. No wonder they put a satellite up to see where the co2 is coming from. And I foolishly thought they couldn’t tell the difference between man made co2 and natural. Everybody remembers those arguments with isotope numbers, But then they knew that didn’t they. The carbon budget didn’t balance. I don’t know what they know, but I’m sure ” if they have to explain it to me “, being not a ( approved by the IPCC) climate scientist, ” I wouldn’t understand it “. (words in quotes by Bernie)

  29. CO2 is a wonder gas that causes life on this planet. It is necessary for photosynthesis that produces green plants that in turn produce meats. It is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and nontoxic. It not only is necessary at the basic food chain of life, but in humans it helps prevent pain and aches in the joints, lowers blood pressure, and is otherwise good for health. I am now going to go and drink some carbonated water because it lowers my blood pressure and makes me feel much better.

  30. This is important because the EPA could not pass the CO2 regs if the cost of regulation outweighs the benefits. They have to do a cost-benefit analysis ahead of time (the RIA, Regulatory Impact Assesment) and show that the benefits of regulation outweigh the costs. The calculations of benefits is questionable, but the cost of complying with the regs is fundamentally the cost of coal with CCS. All of their documents have charts that estimate the cost of a coal plant with CCS. The cost per ton of CO2 is less than the benefit of taking a ton of CO2 out of the air. So they win. But it’s all inaccurate and exaggerated, exaggerated up in terms of benefit and down in terms of cost.

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