CCS: Where are the protests?

Posted: July 26, 2014 by Andrew in Accountability, alarmism, Energy, Geology, Politics, propaganda

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Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

“CCS is the only way we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and keep fossil fuels (coal and gas) in the UK’s electricity supply mix” (DECC), and so say many other countries around the globe. Catch the CO2 and push it back underground. Just like waste water from fracking, but on an epic scale, so where are all the protests?

Fracking, or as the media call it ” The controversial process of fracking” has been around, in one form or another, for decades. Yet only recently has it become one of the most feared and loathed of industrial processes. Pumping water and a few chemicals into the ground at high pressure to release gas or oil. Then pump the waste water back down out of the way.

“Fracking causes earthquakes and contaminates the air and water”. So could CCS.

Carbon Dioxide: mostly harmless

Capture: post/pre-combustion or “oxy-fuel”.

Wikipedia says “While CO2 is drastically reduced though never completely captured, emissions of air pollutants increase significantly, generally due to the energy penalty of capture”. To add CCS to a coal fired power station would, without reducing its electrical output, require 24-40% more energy. For gas 11-22%. So approximately 1/3 more coal mining, more transport, more burning. Then flue exhaust cleaning, proportionally more limestone for desulfurization, or Ammonia for catalytic reduction systems.

Then there is the CCS process itself. “Chilled Ammonia CCS plants have inevitable ammonia emissions to air. “Functionalized Ammonia” emit less ammonia, but amines may form secondary amines and these will emit volatile nitrosamines…” Some of these contaminants are known to be carcinogenic.

Placards anyone?

Storage: Depleted hydrocarbon fields and Saline aquifers.

In DECC’s Storage Strategy “At present, more is known and understood about oil and gas fields than saline aquifers but the latter represents over 85% of the UK’s estimated storage capacity”.”Depleted hydrocarbon fields are less uncertain, but may have a high development cost risk if there are lots of existing wells that require remediation”.

CCS requires the pumping of vast quantities of liquid underground at high pressure. In the UK the target is 2-5 billion tonnes by 2050, increasing to 15 billion by the end of the century; and that’s just the UK. For a comparison: in 2011 the total consumption of water for fracking in the USA was estimated at 178 million tonnes. If the injection of this quantity of waste water has led to a series of earthquakes, what about CCS.

Although the potential for earthquakes has not received any noticeable media coverage, the burgeoning CCS industry is well aware of the threat, the magnitude of the threat is described by the Carbon Capture & Storage Association, also independent research Here. As it has been determined that the practice of pumping waste water into the ground during fracking is the most common cause of earthquakes, a 5.6 magnitude quake measured in Oklahoma, stands as the highest so far linked to the process, if you don’t have the option of storing the CO2 under the sea, as in the UK,  lookout for fault lines.

From earthquakes, comes the prospect of leakage. 1% in 1000 years is the usual estimation for leakage, however with the vast quantities involved, the prospect of leakage has led to research, to determine the effects of leakage on drinking water here and again here. As with fracking, the main concerns are radioactivity, but if saline aquifers are to be injected into, there is the possibility that drinking water could be contaminated by salt. This has led to the recommendation for strict monitoring requirements.

Surely worth chaining yourself to a gate for?

Cost:

Wikipedia estimates for the USA residential consumer, assuming the electricity is generated by coal, a 50% rise in household bills. DECC say anywhere between £30-£300/tCO2. This where information dries up and  is replaced by statements like “there are insufficient studies on the costs of industrial CCS” (DECC). Who knows?

Call the Guardian newspaper, its an outrage!

Summary:

Why has the “controversial” process of fracking been haunted by thousands of “green” protestors, received endless hours of doom laden media coverage and led to the most oppressive planning process, per drilling site, this side of a nuclear power station. Yet CCS which has by its very nature, at least a similar probability of causing earthquakes and contamination, is also expected to raise the cost of living considerably, and uncertainty reigns; has received not a whisper of protest from… anyone?

Because it damages the fossil fuel industry? Because only capitalist countries will bother spending billions on it? Because it’s fighting climate change?

imageWell, almost no one is protesting. Germany of all places, in the town of Beeskow residents are worried about their water.

Comments
  1. AlecM says:

    I worked on the two main international CCS programmes. The costs and risks are incredible.

  2. oldbrew says:

    CCS is aimed at making coal and gas far more expensive and inefficient than they are today.

    NB The town in the protest is Flensburg according to the Spiegel caption.

  3. Chaeremon says:

    @Oldbrew long time no see 🙂 to the best of my knowledge in 2012 “Environment” Minister Peter Altmaier, (CDU) Fed Gov, had to stop all prototypes and explorations, due to citizens protest against any attempts of water pollution, and yes: the people here are armed with information.

    But meanwhile PIK (Postdam) “examined” 18 Games Consoles “models” and found: a) “feasibility” of allegedly available “technology” and b) unquantifiable “risks”, for which c) more “research” is required (03. July 2014, in German):
    http://www.fr-online.de/energie/co2-verpressung-plaedoyer-fuer-endlagerung-unter-der-erde,1473634,27697396.html

    I think there will be further protest once the same/other final repositories become known.

  4. Joe Public says:

    All those in favour of CCS should demonstrate their lack of hypocrisy by buying and using their own personal CCS system on their exhalations.

    Or stop exhaling.

  5. Katabasis says:

    This is a great post Tallbloke, very useful and bookmarked for future reference.

  6. Will Janoschka says:

    Liquefied CO2 is one if the parts of fracking. The liquid freezes the water pumped in to create the enormous pressures required. The gas companies want it much cheaper, like free! Let the power customer pay for the fracking too!

  7. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    where indeed – the world has officially gone mental.

  8. timspence10 says:

    They’re doing something that I think is a precursor to CCS. There’s an offshore platform in the Med where boats arrive and offload the gas, it’s then pumped underground into a disused mine which is mainly under an onshore village, and it’s causing mini earthquakes.

  9. tallbloke says:

    Katabasis: It is an excellent post. Our new talkshop author Andrew is doing a top job.

  10. Steve C says:

    There’s a casual mention in that Guardian article of something a lot more sensible. “In addition, some of this carbon dioxide has been converted by bacteria in the lake into methane. Hence the accumulation of both gases.” Can’t help feeling that bacteria which enjoy converting industrial quantities of CO2 into CH4 are an asset rather than a liability here. Wonder what energy they want to do it, and how easily separable the gases.

    But yes. Rolling clouds of carbon dioxide are not good news, and building the mechanism to put huge quantities of it into waiting is pure insanity. Or, just everyday politics, 21st century style.

  11. peterandnen says:

    Let’s capture the idiots that believe in CCS. Let’s freeze these idiots and bury them underground.
    Plants love carbon dioxide. It’s a fertilizer. Maybe plants have more sense than humans who invent “science” of global warming and carbon dioxide.
    Only idiots believe increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is bad. Engineers/scientists think otherwise!

  12. michael hart says:

    Why complain about something that doesn’t work or will never see the light of day, commercially speaking? They generally like to spend their time complaining about things that DO work, so there is a certain method in their madness.

  13. ntesdorf says:

    Warmistas are not interested in the likely disastrous outcomes of their impractical ideas. Their ideas are, for them, an end and justification in themselves. Their moral virtue is derived from their own thought-bubble.

  14. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction Blog and commented:
    Excellent post Andrew, this needs to be spread widely.
    Craig

  15. gallopingcamel says:

    CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) is a wonderful idea you should all support. It has been tried before with great success by Hammurabi who built granaries to store the agricultural suplus during the “Fat Years” so that his people would not starve during the “Lean Years”.

    Sadly modern leaders don’t give a rap for “Their People” as all they care about is creating scams that will line their pockets.

    When the next Tambora causes another “year without a summer” we will curse our ruling elites (useless idiots) who turned CO2 into rocks instead of food.

  16. CCS the sequestration of carbon dioxide. Carbon, the basis for all life, and oxygen a gas which all animals breath. Utter madness. What planet are these people on?

  17. Chaeremon says:

    Further to the Frankfurter Rundschau article (in German) above, the PIK propaganda (06/26/2014) on CSS is here (in English):
    Capturing CO2 emissions needed to meet climate targets
    https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/capturing-co2-emissions-needed-to-meet-climate-targets
    The role of technology for achieving climate policy objectives: overview of the EMF 27 study on global technology and climate policy strategies
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-013-0953-7

    It’s a pain, it’s a cartel, it’s corrupt, it’s games consoles religion (!)

    “Our study [18 games consoles] shows that there are technology strategies that can enable us to reach ambitious climate policy targets with some degree of confidence,” says John Weyant, head of the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum [EMF 27]. “But these strategies will only be possible if effective climate policies are implemented very very soon.”
    SEND+MORE=MONEY

  18. NikFromNYC says:

    Unlike fracking where most of slurry is water, all that carbon dioxide is a acidic, and what with mild ocean neutralization being called dangerous “acidification,” indeed where is the outcry of pumping concentrated carbon dioxide into the ground where it will risk turning fresh water into seltzer? Also where are the protests about greedy green industry profiteering for stealing food from plants and algae?

    The best carbon sequestration would be to make more furniture and buildings out of wood and plant fiber composites, so indeed put high CO2 greenhouses around coal plants where they can enjoy the nitrogen too. Pumping such a valuable resource into the ground is a crime against humanity. Not only is it a wonderful “green” solvent that evaporates away so readily, but a reagent too, an early not-in-the-textbooks discovery of any young organic chemist being how primary amine liquids immediately turn cloudy upon exposure to air, plugging up your pipette tip.

    The ideal gas law says that PV = nRT where n is the numer of molecules in mole units, so with a tiny molecule like CO2 you have terribly many molecules per pound, and thus potentially great pressure, but being a polar molecule that attracts together it liquifies easily too. Caves are at 55 °F = 12° C so the phase diagram says it will liquefy at a mere 50 psi which is about the same as a car tire. Natural gas pressure of nonpolar methane which won’t liquify readily is several thousand psi, as at such high pressures it transitions into a supercritical fluid that is just a denser form of gas.

    “I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist…. I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.“ – Prince Philip

  19. edmh says:

    CCS is just a very expensive and dangerous mechanism to throw away comparatively minuscule amounts of useful plant food.

    Madness as ever !!

  20. tallbloke says:

    Will J commented on another thread that he thinks CCS may be used as part of fracking technique and the ‘climate angle’ is just to get the public to pay for it. I don’t know if that could work.