New MIT Study Could Deflate Hopes For Coal Plant Carbon Capture And Storage

From: Forbes

Ken Silverstein, Contributor

If coal is to come up for air, the technologies to capture and bury carbon must materialize. While progress is being made, an analysis by a leading university reveals that the earth’s belly can’t stomach as much carbon dioxide as previously thought.

Researchers at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT have discovered that only a “small fraction” of the carbon dioxide solidifies and turns into rock after it is injected 7,000 feet below the earth’s surface. The rest, it adds, remains in a more “tenuous form.” If the carbon is stored in deep aquifers where large pockets of brine exist, then it can solidify. However, the team found that this solidification creates a wall that prevents the bulk of the carbon dioxide from reacting with the brine.

Four European utilities drop EU CCS technology project

From: The Economic Times

By Reuters

OSLO: Four European utilities have pulled out of a European project studying carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way to combat global warming, arguing the technology is too costly, a letter obtained by Reuters showed on Monday.Germany’s RWE AG, France’s Electricite de France , Sweden’s Vattenfall AB and Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa quit the Zero Emission Platform (ZEP), which advises the European Commission about CCS technologies.

“The utility group has decided to stop its engagement in the ZEP,” according to the letter dated Jan. 12 to Graeme Sweeney, chair of the ZEP advisory council.

Massive underground carbon bunkers are a dangerous waste of tax dollars



One million tons. Depending on your frame of reference, this is either a very large number, or a very small one. If you’re comparing it to the amount of “waste” produced by the average nuclear power plant in the US right now, it’s very large; your average American could receive 100% of their lifetime electricity use from nuclear power, and produce just about 1 kilogram of spent fuel, the classical “nuclear waste.” If you’re comparing it to the amount of carbon released by the average coal power plant, then it’s a very small number indeed; a modestly-sized coal power plant will output about three times that amount of CO2 every year. Clearly,  understanding big numbers like this one requires the correct context for interpretation, so when you hear that the US Department of Energy and partners have managed to store a million metric tons of CO2 underground, how do we evaluate this number? Is that a lot? Or, like, not?

How environmentally friendly is Boundary CCS?

From: The StarPhoenix

By Paul Hanley

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is touted as an environmentally friendly solution to climate change. But is it?

It certainly sounds like a good idea. With CCS, we keep using plentiful fossil fuels such as coal, but the climate-changing carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted when it burns is captured and put back in the ground from whence it came.

Saskatchewan has become a leader in this technology, having built the first commercial CCS coal-fired power plant in the world at Boundary Dam. In previous columns, I have questioned this project based on cost, but there are also serious environmental concerns woven into the cost question.

Reflections for the New Year on Carbon Capture, the Clean Power Plan, and the COP 21 Climate Negotiations


by Marlo Lewis

The integrated carbon capture and storage (ICCS) project at the Boundary Dam Power Station has scooped up its first major award, even though it has been fully operational for less than three months. — Estavan Lifestyles, Dec. 17, 2014

The economics only work at Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan for two reasons: a C$240 million government subsidy and a ready nearby customer for the carbon in Calgary-based Cenovus. . . .The CO2 is transported 66 kilometers (41 miles) to Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE)’s oil fields where it is buried underground to coax additional crude from the reservoirs. — Bloomberg News, Dec. 4, 2014