Carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) is a process in which fossil fuel-fueled power plants capture and then store the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released during power generation. During the use stage of CCUS, the CO2 from coal combustion is pressurized and injected into oil reservoirs to increase the productivity of wells, a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). By combining carbon capture and storage with EOR, CCUS not only reduces overall emissions from coal power generation but also increases oil production.
There are three main categories of CO2 capture systems: post-combustion, oxy-combustion, and pre-combustion. In post-combustion systems, CO2 produced during coal combustion is bubbled through a solvent to separate it from the flue gas stream. An alternative method for separating CO2 is to combust the coal in the presence of pure oxygen rather than air, a process known as oxy-combustion. Using pure oxygen produces a flue gas that is mainly water vapor and CO2, which can easily be processed and compressed. Finally, in pre-combustion systems the coal is gasified to produce a synthetic gas composed of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen. The CO is then reacted with water to produce CO2, while the hydrogen is diverted to a turbine to generate power. Finally, CO2 captured from these processes is pressurized and transported via pipeline to oil fields where it is injected into wells during the EOR process. Injecting CO2 into the wells releases additional quantities of trapped oil that cannot be recovered by conventional means. When EOR is complete, the well is sealed, and the captured CO2 is stored permanently.
Business Roundtable members are creating technologies that actively contribute to a more efficient, secure and sustainable future for their customers and the public at large.
In Inventing the Future: How Technology Is Reshaping the Energy and Environmental Landscape Business Roundtable highlights just a small sample of technologies that are actively contributing to a more efficient, secure and sustainable future.
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.