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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CCS network planned in UK

In May, I blogged about a U.K. government taskforce’s finding that the development of CCS networks is essential to making the technology a viable tool in the battle against the existential threat of global climate disruption.  I’ve written several times about the first CCS network that was ever proposed – in Pennsylvania, four years ago. Now, a regional CCS network is being planned northern England.

The UK’s National Grid is planning a pipeline project to transport CO2 that will be captured from power and industrial plants in the Yorkshire and Humber region and store it offshore beneath the North Sea.

According to the project website, power plants and industrial facilities in the Yorkshire and Humber region emit 60 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 annually.  The network is intended to capture and store up to 17 MMT of COevery year.  The CO2 will be transported in liquid form (under pressure) through a main 47-mile long, 2-foot diameter cross-country pipeline buried about 4 feet underground, and a sub-sea pipeline. The technology for the system is the same type used in the high-pressure gas pipeline network already being operated across the UK by National Grid.

Could the development of this project be the breakthrough that CCS needs?  Can such CCS networks be developed here? Clearly, yes – especially with the potential for improving network economics with enhanced oil and gas recovery, and perhaps other industrial uses for CO2. 

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