Carbon Capture & Storage
Carbon Management Will Unlock the Full Value of Coal
Even as we face shifting macroeconomic conditions around the world, electricity will be increasingly needed. Affordable energy from coal will lift economies and will help billions of people realize a better quality of life and an improved environment.
In the United States for example, coal used for electricity generation has tripled since 1970 as regulated emissions have been reduced by more than 90 percent. Tens of billions of dollars invested in 21st century technologies by the nation’s utilities will continue this environmental progress, and technology also can drive similar success with carbon management.
As long-term coal use accelerates, commercializing carbon capture and storage technology is vital to unlocking the full value of coal. A number of promising technologies are being advanced around the world.
Using carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a process that has been successfully employed by the petroleum industry for three decades. In EOR, carbon dioxide is injected into depleted oil fields to push out more oil. The process creates value by improving oil production and energy security, and could lead to production of another 2 million to 3 million barrels of oil per day according to Coal: America’s Energy Future, a major study conducted by the National Coal Council, a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Other promising carbon technologies include coal gasification, using scrubbing agents for removal, reducing carbon dioxide in an oxygen-rich environment during combustion or using scrubbing agents for removal. Once the carbon dioxide stream is separate, it is compressed, transported and injected deep under ground into the same geology that has stored methane, coal and oil through the eons.