Making deep reductions in CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plant using capture and storage CO2

Concerns about potentially dangerous changes in climate as a result of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are leading to restrictions on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas. The main source of CO2 emissions is fossil fuel combustion; power generation is the single largest contributor. Coal is widely used for power generation, but it releases approximately twice as much CO2 compared with the use of natural gas for each unit of electricity sent out. Emission reduction could be achieved by increasing the efficiency with which coal is burnt, or by switching to another fuel. These measures can achieve significant reductions in emissions, but, for deep reductions, more substantial changes would be required in the power plant. The technology for capture and storage of CO2 has been recognized in recent years as providing a means of cutting emissions from fossil fuel combustion by at least 80 per cent. Capture and storage is based on technology already in use for other purposes, so there is limited need for development, and the risk of application will be less than is typical for novel energy technologies. Hence, this seems to be a technology that could be deployed relatively rapidly to reduce emissions from fossil fuel fired plant. In this paper, the technology for capture and storage Of CO2 Will be reviewed, especially the costs and potential capacity for reducing emissions. Some barriers to implementation are identified, and work necessary to overcome them is discussed.