Feature April 1, 2001 / Volume 35 , Issue 7 / pp. 148 A – 153 A Copyright © 2001 American Chemical Society
What Future for Carbon Capture and Sequestration?
New technologies could reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere while still allowing the use of fossil fuels.
HOWARD J. HERZOG
Amid the dire warnings of severe weather perturbations and globally rising temperatures, scientists, engineers, policy makers, and others are searching for ways to reduce the growing threat of climate change. There is no single solution, but the development of carbon capture and sequestration technologies, which has accelerated greatly in the last decade, may play an important role in addressing this issue. This was not always the case. Ten years ago, the field of carbon capture and sequestration consisted of a handful of research groups working in isolation. Finding funding was difficult, as the field was not yet included in the research portfolios of traditional funding sources. But then things began to change. In March 1992, more than 250 scientists and engineers from 23 countries gathered in Amsterdam for the First International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Removal (ICCDR-1). Researchers were surprised to learn how many of their colleagues were already seriously investigating the subject. Attendees came to that meeting as individuals, but left it as a research community whose research progress has proven extraordinary in the decade since ICCDR-1. Today, there is an interconnected international community; funding agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), have established programs in carbon sequestration, and equally important, industry is analyzing and developing needed technologies. Significant challenges still lie ahead though, most pressing of which is reducing costs and developing storage options. Although the magnitude and timing of any impacts from climate change remain uncertain, there is... [continues]
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