What is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Can It Help In Preventing Global Warming?

Mar 15, 2022 | Blog

What is Carbon Capture and Storage?

Carbon Capture and Storage or Sequestration (CCS) is a way of lowering carbon emissions that can aid in the fight against global warming. It’s a three-step procedure that involves trapping carbon dioxide produced by power plants or industrial processes like steel or cement production, transferring it, and then burying it deep underground.


What is CCS?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the technology of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial operations such as steel and cement manufacture and fossil fuel combustion in power generation. The carbon is then transferred by ship or pipeline from where it was created and buried deep down in geological formations.


How can CCS help prevent global warming?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting future temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius; we must do more than just increase emissions reduction efforts; we must also deploy technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere. CCS is one of these technologies, and it has the potential to help combat global warming.


How does CCS work?

The CCS procedure is divided into three steps:

  1. Capture and storage of carbon dioxide:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is separated from other gases produced in industrial operations such as coal and natural-gas-fired power plants, steel mills, and cement plants.

  1. Transport: The CO2 is compressed and delivered to a storage location through pipes, trucks, or ships.
  2. Storage: Finally, the CO2 is injected deep into underground rock formations for long-term storage.

Where are carbon emissions stored in CCS?

For example, carbon emissions can be stored in saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas reserves. These are usually 1 kilometre or more underground.

For example, a saline aquifer termed ‘Endurance’ in the southern North Sea, roughly 90 kilometres offshore, is considered a storage site for the proposed Zero Carbon Humber project in the UK. Endurance is located around 1.6 kilometres beneath the seabed and can store a significant amount of CO2.


What is Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)? What is the difference between CCUS and CCS?

In addition to CCS, there is a similar idea known as CCUS, which stands for Carbon Capture Utilization (or ‘use’) and Storage. The concept is that instead of storing carbon, it is converted into polymers, concrete, or biofuel for use in industrial operations.


Is carbon storage as part of CCS safe?

CCS is an “established technology that has been in safe operation for over 45 years,” according to the Global CCS Institute. It goes on to say that all components of CCS are tried-and-true technologies that have been employed on a commercial basis for decades.


Where is CCS being used already?

According to the Global CCS Institute’s 2019 report, there were 51 large-scale CCS facilities worldwide at the time. Nineteen were open for business, four were under construction, and the rest were in various phases of development.

The Americas had 24, Europe had 12, Asia-Pacific had 12, and the Middle East had two.


Where was the first CCS facility?

CCS has been in use in the United States since 1972, with multiple natural gas plants in Texas capturing and storing more than 200 million tonnes of CO2.



Orion Projects offers support to a wide range of carbon capture, compression and sequestration small and large scale projects, and is committed to designing processes that are energy efficient and reduce environmental impact.