Sunday, January 29, 2012

Capture and storage of carbon

We are aware of the harmful effects of the carbon in our atmosphere. Climate change is the worst effect of these harmful emissions. The main question is how long will take to express its gravest consequences?.

For the moment, there is a significant growth in the production of renewable energy. But also keep moving forward in the construction of power plants and refineries.

At the moment the only possible remedy that occurs for the mitigation of energy based on fossil fuels is the system called capture and carbon storage (CSS, towards its acronym in English).

A system of capture and storage of carbon has the function of trapping carbon dioxide emitted from power plants and storing it underground. The benefit of this system is that the stored CO2 does not affect the atmosphere. Therefore, this method could be used long term to reduce global warming and its resulting climatic changes.

I.e. technology to capture carbon functions as a magnet that retains the element of the carbon of the emitted gases . In some ways, it could be said that this is something similar to the simple process of photosynthesis, in which the plants store carbon for growth taking what the CO2.

The carbon dioxide emitted by coal power plants or other industries becomes the first liquid carbon dioxide , to overlook a plant liquefaction. It then passes through pipes interned deep in the Earth's crust. This is then how he is achieved by reducing the percentage of content of CO2 in the air.

Of course, it is not all so simple or so perfect. There are some problems inherent in the capture and storage of carbon. In the first place cannot be guaranteed completely safe CO2 buried in the ground, there are environmental risks to take into account the possibility of leakage, contamination of groundwater or the triggering of earthquakes.

On the other hand, the cost behind this technology is very high. For example, an investment of $ 20 billion would be required to establish a central coal with a team to capture carbon. And the cost of the pipelines would be close to $1.7 million per kilometre.

Without a doubt the sequestration of carbon is a beneficial to reduce the content of CO2 in the atmosphere. Estimates show that about 3 billion tons of CO2 storage in the Earth's crust. Several sites have been found with capacity to accommodate a large number of gas without raising any risk - apparently.

There are some projects in Norway and Algeria are carried out. But this is not enough, we need some 3400 projects to contain the great pollution that currently causes the emission of carbon.

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