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Issue
Nine

The scale of the problem

*  Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a process which separates, compresses and stores carbon dioxide in porous rocks or holes in the ground (e.g. saline aquifers and old oil & gas fields) – and it is likely to be one of the most economical options to reduce greenhouse gases.…


*  Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a process which separates, compresses and stores carbon dioxide in porous rocks or holes in the ground (e.g. saline aquifers and old oil & gas fields) – and it is likely to be one of the most economical options to reduce greenhouse gases.

*  CCS can capture up to 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions from power stations, using chemical solvents such as methyldiethanolamine or special membranes, and it may be able to contribute up to 50 per cent of the total reduction in greenhouse gasses over the next few decades – in other words, CCS could be half of the total solution. 


* The average person in the UK is responsible for about 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.  The cost of storing CO2  in North Sea aquifers would be an estimated £20 pounds per tonne – about £200 pounds per person – and improvements in efficiency could halve this.

*  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Metereological Organization, says there is a less than 50:50 chance that CO2 will be stabilised in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million (ppm) – the so-called “safe” level for climate change.  The current figure stands at 383 ppm.  The IPCC also states that global CO2 emissions will have to be between 50 and 85 per cent lower than 2000 levels by 2050, becoming negative by 2070 and beyond. 

*  The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts a 50 per cent increase in global energy demand by 2030.  This would help to double CO2 emissions to about 14 billion tonnes per year by 2050, increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 800 billion tonnes today to 1,200 tonnes by 2050. 


 

 

"The scale of the problem". Science Scotland (Issue Nine)
Printed from http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=63 on 20/10/17 09:50:41 AM

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