Sunday, July 17, 2011

Two Options for Carbon Sequestration

"Carbon Sequestration" refers to storing the carbon from fossil fuels (e.g., oil, coal, shale, tar sands, natural gas) so that it is not released into the atmosphere.

There are two basic options for carbon sequestration:

Option #1: Extract the carbon-based fuels that are stored underground (through mining, drilling, fracking, etc...), build power and carbon-capture stations to break the carbon bonds and recapture them, then pump the recaptured carbon back underground for storage. Here's a graphic representation (as found on Halliburton's web site):

Option #2: Leave it down there. Here's a graphic representation:

Anyone taking bets on which option we'll select?


  1. Neither, right? What's the economic incentive to do anything different?

    Better carbon lock for the little people: throw out your paper instead of recycling. Oh, and throw out your carbon too.

  2. Why not do something useful with the CO2? Equilibrium is much different under the right temp and pressure. Free Carbon! Free Oxygen!

  3. It would be sweet to use those Os that are in CO2. But breaking apart those chemical bonds would require so much energy that a whole bunch more coa-burning power plants would be needed just to power release the Oxygen from this plant: