Saturday, August 8, 2009

CO2 Sequestration R&D Overview - HIGH RISK

The information on this page comes from this link

Fossil fuels will remain the mainstay of energy production well into the
21st century. Availability of these fuels to provide clean, affordable energy is
essential for the prosperity and security of the United States. However,
increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to carbon emissions are
expected unless energy systems reduce the carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

Roughly one third of the United States' carbon emissions come from power
plants and other large point sources. To stabilize and ultimately reduce
concentrations of this greenhouse gas, it will be necessary to employ carbon
sequestration - carbon capture, separation and storage or reuse.

Program Overview: NETL's Carbon Sequestration
Carbon Sequestration FAQ Information Portal

President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) underscored
the importance of carbon sequestration in its report "Federal Energy Research
and Development for the Challenges of the Twenty First Century." PCAST
recommended increasing the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) R&D for
carbon sequestration. The report stated: "A much larger science-based CO2
sequestration program should be developed. The aim should be to provide a
science-based assessment of the prospects and costs of CO2 sequestration. This is very high-risk, long-term R&D that will not be undertaken by industry alone without strong incentives or regulations, although industry experience and capabilities will be very useful." (quote color enhanced by RPR)

The joint Office of Fossil Energy and Office of Science April 1999
draft report Carbon Sequestration: State of the Science subsequently has
assessed "...key areas for research and development (R&D) that could lead to
an understanding of the potential for future use of carbon sequestration as a
major tool for managing carbon emissions."

To be successful, the techniques and practices to sequester carbon must meet the following requirements:

be effective and cost-competitive,
provide stable,
long term storage, and
be environmentally benign.

Using present technology, estimates of sequestration costs are in the range of $100 to $300/ton of carbon emissions avoided. The goal of the program is to reduce the
cost of carbon sequestration to $10 or less per net ton of carbon emissions
avoided by 2015. Achieving this goal would save the U.S. trillions of dollars.

Further, achieving a mid-point stabilization scenario (e.g., 550 parts
per million CO2) would not require wholesale introduction of zero emission
systems in the near term. This would allow time to develop cost effective
technology over the next 10-15 years that could be deployed for new capacity and
capital stock replacement capacity.

Modeling and assessments provide the capabilities to evaluate technology options in a total systems context (i.e., considering costs and impacts over the full product cycle). Further, the societal and environmental effects are analyzed to provide a basis for assessing trade-offs between local environmental impacts and global impacts.