Carbon Dioxide 101


A combined portfolio of carbon management options is being implemented to reduce current emission levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with energy production while maintaining energy security and building the technologies and knowledge base needed to mitigate carbon emissions. The U.S. portfolio includes:

  Monitoring well at the an NETL-sponsored
CO2 storage project. (click to enlarge)
  1. Use fuels with reduced carbon emission intensity – renewables, nuclear, and natural gas.
  2. Adopt more efficient technologies on both the energy demand and supply sides.
  3. Develop and implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

CCS is the separation and capture of CO2 from industrial processes followed by the transportation and safe, permanent storage in deep underground geologic formations. CCS is a viable management option for anthropogenic CO2 because numerous studies have shown that it can account for up to 55 percent of the emissions mitigation needed to stabilize and ultimately reduce concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Since 1997, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Carbon Storage Program has significantly advanced CCS through a diverse portfolio of applied research projects that include industry, academia, and other research facilities, as well as through collaborative research through the National Laboratory Network, including the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Research and Innovation Center (RIC). There are numerous projects across the country where CO2 is being injected into suitable deep formations to demonstrate the process of it being stored safely. There is also the potential to develop approaches that can convert captured CO2 into useful products, such as a fuel, chemicals, or plastics.

Myth: Nothing is being done about managing CO2 emissions from large-scale anthropogenic sources.
Reality: Advances in carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a CO2 mitigation option are occurring through research and development (R&D) efforts in the United States and around the world.