Carbon Capture Technology: A $1 Billion Investment Toward Burying the Exhaust of 1 Million Cars

Jun 11, 2010· 1 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.
Can&39;t understand carbon capture? Look at the picture. (Graphic Courtesy Wiki Commons)

What’s $612 million + $368 million?

A) Almost $1 billion.

B) The staggering amount of private and public cash that U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu just announced will be invested in carbon capture technology.

C) Funding for an avant-garde methodology that can (just maybe, quite possibly, cross our collective fingers) slow our planet from warming itself to death.

The answer, of course, is:

D) All of the above.

"Capturing carbon emissions and storing them underground is a crucial technology as we build a clean energy future and address the threat of climate change," said Secretary Chu in a press release."These investments will create jobs and help ensure that America can lead the world in the clean energy economy.”

The Environmental Protection Agency explains the carbon capture and storage process as follows:

Carbon dioxide can be captured at stationary sources and injected underground for long-term storage in a process called geologic sequestration (GS). In its Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified CO2 capture and geologic sequestration as one of several options that have the potential to reduce climate change mitigation costs and increase flexibility in achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The IPCC estimates that there is enough capacity worldwide to permanently store as much as 1,100 gigatons of CO2 underground (for reference, worldwide emissions of CO2 from large stationary sources is approximately 13 gigatons per year).

Funding for the projects—$612 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $368 million from private donors—will be dispersed to three separate locations: Leucadia Energy, Louisiana; Air Products & Chemicals, Texas; Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, Illinois.

All in all, according to the press release, the three companies' efforts are projected to:

...capture and store 6.5 million tons of CO2 per year—the equivalent of removing nearly one million cars off the road—and increase domestic production of oil by more than 10 million barrels per year by the end of the demonstration period in September 2015.

Graphic courtesy Wiki Commons.