Recent Progress Shows China's Leadership on Carbon Capture and Storage

2013-10-23 11:28 by Anja Reitz

CCUS is a process that requires a chain of different technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large sources, such as fossil fuel power plants and large industrial plants, and then store the captured carbon underground. In some cases, the captured carbon can be used to enhance production of oil and natural gas or to produce beverage-grade CO2, which is referred to as utilization.

China’s Policy Breakthrough on CCUS

In April, China’s main policy-making body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), adopted a new policy to promote the demonstration of integrated CCUS projects and pave the way for “large-scale application and commercialization.” The policy calls on local governments to take further steps on pilot projects along newly developed guidelines, which can improve research on capturing CO2 as a way of addressing climate change and creating economic benefits.

In the past, countries and companies have separated the research for storing or utilizing CO2 from the research for capturing CO2. One of the major breakthroughs of China’s new policy is that steps are being taken to assure that new research projects bring both of these actions together, capturing CO2 from fossil-fuel burning and injecting it into the ground.

Utilization of CO2 can enhance oil or gas recovery, leading to direct monetary benefits. Therefore, utilization technologies have frequently attracted more research money than capture technologies. However, research projects have traditionally found it cheaper to drill into the ground and bring up naturally occurring, underground CO2 rather than capture and use CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. Many utilization and storage research projects have therefore taken out CO2 already in the ground and re-injected it, which yields no environmental benefit and does nothing to move forward carbon capture technologies. China’s new policy connects the environmental benefit with the potential for direct monetary gains, ensuring that demonstration of CCUS moves forward in an integrated fashion—building knowledge and experience on the entire CCS process.


Source: World Resource Institute,by  and -

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