Natural Research Defense Council scientist George Peridas will take part in a panel discussion about carbon capture and storage at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the California Public Utilities Commission’s Tenderloin headquarters.
What is carbon capture and storage? You separate carbon dioxide from large industrial facilities, such as power plants, refineries, cement plants, steel plants, ethanol plants and fertilizer plants. You compress the carbon dioxide, then you pipe it and inject it into deep geological formations, where it can remain trapped indefinitely.
Into which geological formations is the carbon injected? Into the same formations that held oil and gas for millions of years.
How energy-intensive is the process? If we’re talking about power plants, then there’s no hiding the fact that it’s not very energy efficient. You’re expending, say, 20 to 30 percent more energy. The bulk of the energy is spent separating the carbon dioxide.
What are the benefits? It’s a way of preventing large quantities of global warming pollution from going into the atmosphere.
Is it already happening? This has been happening for decades. There are two major projects in Norway, one in Algeria, one in Canada and pilot projects around the world.