1 Tahrcountry Musings: Whither Carbon Sequestration?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whither Carbon Sequestration?

The latest issue of journal, Nature Geoscience has an excellent paper on pros and cons of underground Carbon sequestration.
European Union plans to invest billions of Euros within the next ten years to develop carbon capture and storage. The idea is to extract CO2 from power plants and other combustion sites and store it underground.
A pertinent question that has been raised against the back drop of underground storage is what are the long-term consequences of leakage?
Professor Gary Shaffer from Niels Bohr Institute has made long term model projections for a number of sequestration/leakage scenarios. The results show that leakage of the stored CO2 may bring about atmosphere warming, sea level rise, oxygen depletion, acidification and increased CO2 concentrations in the ocean.
Geological storage may be effective only if we can ensure CO2 leakage of 1 % or less per thousand years. Carbon in light form will always seek its way out.  CO2sequestration should not be used as an excuse for continued high fossil fuel emissions. The wise course would be to limit CO2 emissions in our time so that it does not become a burden for future society.

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