The History of Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology intended to capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from various factories and industrial sites and transport them to storage facilities, where the CO₂ is  injected into the ground for permanent storage. CCS technology has been researched for decades, with many researchers believing that this process will be a crucial tool in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

CCS technology has developed over time due to growing climate change concerns. Technological developments over the last few decades have allowed CCS technology to be researched without technological limitations. With further advancements, researchers believe that this process will only become more refined and lead to greater CO₂ emission reductions. 

CCS as a means of combating climate change dates back to the 1970s, when scientists became more focused on the effects of greenhouse gasses on the Earth’s atmosphere. They recognized that if CO₂ emissions could be captured and stored underground before reaching the earth’s atmosphere, the emissions would be unable to contribute to the greenhouse effect. This concept was researched and explored over the next several years, and it wasn’t until 1996 that the first integrated carbon capture and storage project was launched in the North Sea. 

The Sleipner project, a carbon capture and storage project in Norway, was the first of its kind. The project captured CO₂ in a nearby gas field and injected it into a deep saline aquifer underneath the North Sea. The Sleipner project was the first to demonstrate the practicality of CCS technology on an industrial scale. Since the Sleipner project, there have been many CCS operations all over the world. Currently, there are 18 operating CCS facilities, with more under construction. 

CCS technology has a long and evolving history but is rapidly gaining a reputation as a scientifically sound solution for climate change. This technology is likely to play a fundamental role in reducing future emissions from industrial locations. The continued development of CCS technology will provide more options for solutions to climate change. 

by: Nolan Czaja