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After a string of relatively high profile failures and cost overruns, point source carbon capture and storage (CCS) – that is, capturing carbon dioxide directly from flue stacks at industrial and power generation facilities – fell into disrepute.
Many projects were shelved. And yet, in just the first nine months of 2021 the global capacity of planned CCS projects grew 50% to 111 million tons, which would triple the current operating capacity in the world.
So why the recovery? And what might happen this time?
In this episode Shayle talks to Chris Bataille, a researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, a professor at Simon Fraser University and a lead author on the industry chapter of the IPCC report that just came out this week.
Chris and Shayle talk about the state of CCS technology, the reasons for past failures, and the applications where it could work, namely chemicals, cement and certain power plants.
They examine the bottlenecks in deep saline aquifers and the capacity of these aquifers to absorb carbon dioxide. They also discuss the role of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), which could both improve the economics of CCS and displace more carbon-intensive fossil fuel extraction.
And: Will CCS lead to unnecessary emissions? They discuss upstream methane leakage and whether CCS enables polluters.
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