Various forms of CO2 storage – and unforeseeable consequences

With CO2 being blamed for global warming and fees for emissions being discussed, companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

One of the possibilities is storing the CO2. This can be done by filling the gas into giant undersea bags which will be several miles long. Other undersea attempts are to pump CO2 back into oil fields or to bury them at undersea saline aquifers as it is done off the coast of Norway. The try to store CO2 which is collected from power plant exit air in deep sea levels is obviously harmful to the environment as the solute CO2 makes the water acidic which threatens the entire undersea ecosystem. In Germany, researchers bore holes into the ground and inject liquid CO2 into them. Another possiblity is to store the CO2 in empty coal seams. 

But however CO2 is stored, danger can never be rolled out. As CO2 gas is heavier than air, it could settle in valleys or other low-lying areas if it escaped from the storage through a leak. The concentrated CO2 would make people living in this area suffocate immediately because it would repress oxygen.

Besides, the process of storing CO2 e.g. from power plants is very elaborate and energy-consuming. Thus, storing CO2 lowers the efficiency of a power plant, etc. significantly. And obviously, it would do more harm than good to collect the CO2 and to bury it if a second power plant were needed to produce the energy lost by the attempt to make the first one “greener”. Therefore, our focus should rather be on increasing efficiency, saving energy, burning less fossil fuels and looking for alternatives.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/06/business/carbon.php?page=1

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2008/02/19/undersea_co2_storage_in_giant_bags_studied/6680/

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2 Comments

Filed under Environment

2 responses to “Various forms of CO2 storage – and unforeseeable consequences

  1. Check out this US Carbon Footprint Map, an interactive United States Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States to Cities. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State & City energy consumptions, demographics and much more down to your local US City level…

    http://www.eredux.com/states/

  2. Pingback: Today, for the first time CO2 gas was injected below the surface at Europe’s first CO2 stoaring test facility in Germany « What Matters

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