Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forbes takes a look at burying carbon at sea


Forbes has found a place capacious enough to store several hundred billion tons of CO2, enough to take on all the power plants within 155 miles of the coast from Maryland to Massachusetts for the next 100 years. Can you guess where it is?


Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have participated in national surveys to locate potential underground locations for the disposal of carbon dioxide emissions produced in the generation of electricity from coal-burning power plants.


New Jersey is even reviewing plans for a new coal-burning power plant in the city of Linden. The plan calls for the burial of the plant's CO2 byproduct beneath the ocean floor off the state's coast.

And the federal government is throwing a lot of money into research to test whether so the so-called 'carbon capture and sequestration' technology, which has been successful in small scale projects can be ramped up for industrial-sized applications.

In a new article on the subject, appearing yesterday in
Forbes, writer Bruce Upbin tells us that:

"Geologic cavities in the U.S. alone could hold between 2,020 and 14,220 billion tons of CO2, enough to soak up three to 36 months of national output. Doing so would cost $200 or so per ton of carbon. It would require permits from local, state and federal agencies and would generate a good deal of anxiety for those living above the gas. In 1986, a volcano crater in Cameroon released a CO2 bubble large enough to kill 1,800
people while they slept."
But what, he asks, "If you could put the carbon where nobody lives?"

Guess where that turns out to be?

"There is a perfect place 70 miles off the eastern U.S. seaboard and two miles below the ocean floor. It's a porous sandstone formation, trapped under a mile of hard shale, that stretches from New Jersey to Georgia. The section off the Jersey shore alone is capacious enough to store several hundred billion tons of CO2, enough to take on all the power plants within 155 miles of the coast from Maryland to Massachusetts for the next 100 years."


If you get the feeling that this topic isn't going away anytime soon, you're right. So we suggest that you might want to read the entire Forbes piece, which you'll find here.

Related:
British emissary says carbon capture is crucial
Prioritise project diversity says carbon capture institute
Carbon capture shows major potential in China
Is carbon capture the political key to climate bill?
Feds' $2.4B to 'stimulate' carbon capture projects
For carbon sequestration, it's test time

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