The idea is to isolate CO2 from a gas stream and prevent it from being emitted into the atmosphere by storing it in a suitable geological reservoir, such as under an impermeable rock, or on the sea bed where the temperature and pressure keep it in a liquid like state. The main applications for this technology are fossil fuelled power stations and large industrial processes like concrete manufacturing plants.

There are 4 live end to end projects, and more on the way, but the global research seems to be aimed at:
- Technical uncertainties.
- Economical feasibility. (This is constantly referred to in literature which supports CCS technology)
- Legislation
These strike me as some fundamental issues.

The 4 projects are in:
- Norway by StatoilHydro. Here the CO2 is stripped from the natural gas with the use of Amine solvents and stored in a aquifer.
- Weyburn in Canada by EnCana Energy Corporation: This is an Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Project increasing oil production by 34%. The CO2 is coming from a lignite-fired Dakota Gasification Company synfuels plant site in North Dakota 250miles.
- Snohvit in the Barent Sea (Norway): A Gas field and LNG plant owned by Statoil build a power plant to power their CO capture and storage activities. All of the exploration, processing and power plant were developed in an environmentally sensitive area. However the concept although very delayed and over budget was successfully achieved.
- Salah in Algeria. Here BP, Stoil and the national energy company are stripping the NG of its CO2 and pumping it into the water which has collected at the bottom of the gas well.

Also looking at projects on the way such as Vattenfalls 30MW plant in Spremberg, Germany. They are liquefying the CO2 from their coal power plant and driving it 250 miles to a nearby gas well. I would be interested in the emissions from the trucks and the liquefaction process.

This for me is an area which has sparked my curiosity, so as my understanding develops, i cannot but question the viability of each move in the search for the answer to “is CCS really viable.”
My current questions are:
- Statoil is storing CO2 in an Aquifer. This i believe is under a water permeable rock. How long will the CO2 stay where it has been stored. Will it not dissolve into the water to be released later?
- A similar question arises around the Salah project. How much CO2 can water hold, and is that CO2 held indefinitely?
- These projects abound around Oil and gas companies looking for methods to extract more product from their wells. Therefore how much of what is being learnt and practised is transferable to power stations and industrial processes which don’t have such readily available holes in the ground to utilise for storage?
- The process appears to be very expensive. In Norway there have been large political issues, and now CCS is subsidised. On top of this the oil companies are writing there investment off against increased production. How will power stations and industrial processes stomach these costs.
- Would all this investment be better spent on renewable technologies and alternative technologies. Hemcrete instead of concrete as an example. Fixing the cause rather than the symptom?

Any guidance from the more informed would be well received.

My final thought at this point is that i really hope that the CCS technological mysteries brakes all records for the time taken to be solved, developed, commercialised and deployed as the world does not seem to agree that energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions is a necessary step.