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Carbon Capture and Storage

10th July, 2023 Environment

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  • To fight climate change, clean-up of industries like cement and chemicals is necessary.
  • However oil companies are failing in capturing carbon.

Other Details

  • It is concerning that these company lobby against cut down of fossil fuel production and intend to maximise profits only.
  • They are using Carbon capture technology to extract more oil from ground.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS)

  • It is a method where the gases, which are making planet warm, could be captured and stored underground.
  • In fossil fuel plants and factories, for eg cement and fertiliser, this technique prevents the gas emission itself.
    • Please note Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) works a little different from CCS – CDR reduces carbon dioxide level in atmosphere by sucking CO2 out of it. Hence in this way it contributes in cooling of planet.

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Significance and effectiveness of CCS

  • it will help in dealing with global warming and issue of pollution.
  • There is also a need to avoid CO2 in the first place, using all green options.
  • In few bioethanol plants, in case of pure gas stream, more than 95% of the carbon emissions are captured. Hence it shows a potential.


  • The CCS technique is used by Oil companies to ease the extraction of fossil fuel not as a climate solution which defeats its purpose.
  • Industry is lacking commitment in using this technology. For instance –
    • Only 30 working CCS facilities
    • 150 more facilities were planned however 100 out of these are either scrapped or put on hold.
  • In case of dirtier gas stream, it seems a little costly and not so effective.
  • The technology has not reached its maturity level and hence not fully commercialized at scale
    • Commercial project are broken down or only capture a small part of the total carbon emissions.
  • Building infrastructure to capture carbon is an expensive process and companies see a little incentive in doing this.

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Green alternatives as per some environmental groups/Scientists

  • Making electricity using wind turbines and solar panels would be economic in long run.
  • Making of green steel and hydrogen should be encouraged.

A silver lining in the cloud

  • Heidelberg Materials, a German industrial giant, building a capacity in Norway to capture and store carbon from cement.
  • It claims that a 100% capture is possible, thus gives a cue for adopting such practices and to develop more efficient technology and infrastructure.
  • There seems to be a shift in focus of companies from extracting more oil to storing CO2.

Way ahead

  • Adopting best practices and development of economic technologies
  • Legal provisions to make it mandatory for companies operating in oil, cement, fertilizers etc. sectors.
  • Government to tax carbon.
  • Approval of CCS projects should be made easier.
  • Incentives and subsidies to be provided for developing the required infrastructure.

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Carbon capture utilisation technologies



Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technique holds the potential to reduce global warming and pollution. Explain. Also discuss the concerns regarding this technique and suggest measures to tackle these challenges. (250 words)