Carbon capture & storage (CCS) is the method of capturing CO2 (carbon dioxide) from large point sources; for instance, fossil fuel plants. The captured carbon dioxide is then transferred to a storage space & usually deposited in an underground geological formation, from where it won’t enter the environment. The global carbon capture & storage market would surpass USD 8 billion by 2025.
Although carbon dioxide is injected into geological formations for different purposes, such as enhanced oil recovery; its long-standing storage is quite a new concept! This was first seen in the form of ‘Weyburn-Midale CO2 Project’ located at Midale, Saskatchewan, Canada. Other examples include Kemper Project and Boundary Dam Power Station.
The Largest Carbon-Capture Power Plant Worldwide
Petra Nova, a joint venture between JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. and NRG Energy Inc., is developing a carbon-capture project at NRG’s W.A. Parish Generating Station. This plant will be the world’s largest carbon capture project on an existing power plant.
The project is designed to capture approximately 90 % of the CO2; along with sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulates from a 240 MW ‘flue-gas’ slipstream. This process requires about 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas per annum. The system deploys an amine-based CO2 scrubber; designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; to capture the gas in industrial applications.
The captured gas is pumped 82 miles towards the West Ranch, an oil field in Texas, where drillers infuse it in depleted wells. This squeezes out stubborn crude oil bits, in a procedure known as ‘Enhanced Oil Recovery’ (EOR). The demo plant is said to be functional from 2016.
The Petra Nova plant is all set to thrive in conditions wherein other carbon-capture plants have failed. It uses conventional ‘scrubbing’ technology to extract carbon dioxide from combustion gases. Since such systems keep carbon dioxide from mixing with the environment, they play a major role in climatic changes. They could offer lifeline to beleaguered fossil-fuel plants. Project officials say their next objective is to execute commercial undertakings.
CCS - Industry Outlook
The carbon capture & storage market is anticipated to be propelled by energy demand and ‘carbon dioxide’ reduction awareness. Also, wide adoption of gas injection for enhanced oil recovery in various petroleum reserves worldwide can drive industry demand in the near future. The market is categorized on the basis of applications, technologies, and regions. Key participants comprise Linde Engineering, AkerSolutions, Sulzer, and Shell CANSLV. The industry is primarily led by multiple oil & gas companies. Huge operational expenses & initial investments prevent novel players from entering the market. Discrepancies in governmental framework are one of their other concerns.
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