Carbon Capture and Sequestration: A Step towards Sustainability
Our planet, on its current course, is on a steady march towards its death. Each year we do more and more to destroy our environment. One huge component to this destruction is the emission of greenhouse gases, mainly, carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases are gases that when present in our atmosphere, trap the heat of the sun and progressively make earth warmer and warmer. This is leading to long term problems such as drought, famine, and even possibly extinction if not quelled. In order to sustain our way of life, and save the earth for future generations, I propose expanded use of carbon capture and sequestration.
The EPA defines carbon capture as: “a set of technologies that can greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources.” (“Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration”) Now as nearly 77% (“Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data”) of all greenhouse emissions are carbon dioxide, and of that breakdown 45% comes from industrial and energy production, it makes sense to start here. Carbon capture works with an 80-90% efficiency (“Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration”) on the removal of carbon pollutants from these sources. To put it another way, if the technology is put to work on one coal fired power plant for one year, it would be equal to planting 62,000,000 trees and allowing them to grow for 10 years. Talk about an impact!
Now you may be asking, what happens to all this carbon dioxide? Well, it is captured post combustion, or gasification, in coal fueled power plants and industrial facilities, or pre-combustion in ethanol production. After capture it is then transported in either of two ways. One is in a tanker truck in a liquid form, to be used for several other industrial uses such as food and beverage production, metal fabrication, and paper production. The other way is to pump it through pipelines to be stored,...