What Is CCS?

View full poster: CO2 capture and geological storage in depth

Carbon sequestration is the capture, from power plants and other facilities, and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere. The gases can be captured at the point of emission and can be stored in underground reservoirs (geological sequestration), injected in deep oceans (ocean sequestration), or converted to rock-like solid materials (advanced concepts). CO2 can also be converted into beneficial byproducts and materials that will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while helping to create value for CO2. Some of the applicable approaches are conversion of CO2 into fuels, chemicals, and polycarbonate plastics; storage of CO2 in solid materials having economic value; indirect storage of CO2; conversion using algae or other organisms; and other breakthrough concepts. The key motivator for CO2 reuse is the potential for conversion into some other useful, high-value product (i.e., oil, gas, and water) that can be sold with revenues used to offset the economic penalties of implementing carbon capture.

Fossil fuels will remain the mainstay of energy production well into the 21st century. The availability of these fuels to provide clean, affordable energy is essential for global prosperity and security. However, unless energy systems significantly reduce the carbon emissions to the atmosphere, increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 due to carbon emissions are expected.

To stabilize and ultimately reduce concentrations of CO2, it will be necessary to capture, separate, and store or reuse CO2. Carbon sequestration, along with reduced carbon content of fuels and improved efficiency of energy production and use, must play a major role if the world is to continue using fossil fuels as a key energy source.

CSLF inFocus Papers on Carbon Capture and Storage Technology    

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) has developed a series of short educational papers (1–6 pages in length) answering some of the most common questions surrounding carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Additional Introductory Information about CCS

Policy & Technology Updates