Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy [June 10, 2013]   [open pdf - 421KB]

"Carbon capture and sequestration (or storage)--known as CCS--is a physical process that involves capturing manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) at its source and storing it before its release to the atmosphere. CCS could reduce the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere while allowing the continued use of fossil fuels at power plants and other large, industrial facilities. An integrated CCS system would include three main steps: (1) capturing CO2 at its source and separating it from other gases; (2) purifying, compressing, and transporting the captured CO2 to the sequestration site; and (3) injecting the CO2 into subsurface geological reservoirs. Following its injection into a subsurface reservoir, the CO2 would need to be monitored for leakage and to verify that it remains in the target geological reservoir. Once injection operations cease, a responsible party would need to take title to the injected CO2 and ensure that it stays underground in perpetuity. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has pursued research and development of aspects of the three main steps leading to an integrated CCS system since 1997. Congress has appropriated approximately $6 billion in total since FY2008 for CCS research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) at DOE's Office of Fossil Energy: approximately $2.7 billion in total annual appropriations (including FY2013), and $3.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5, enacted February 17, 2009, hereinafter referred to as the Recovery Act). The large and rapid influx of funding for industrial-scale CCS projects from the Recovery Act may accelerate development and demonstration of CCS in the United States, particularly if the RD&D pursued by DOE's CCS program achieves its goals as outlined in the department's 2010 RD&D 'CCS Roadmap'. However, the future deployment of CCS may take a different course if the major components of the DOE program follow a path similar to DOE's FutureGen project, which has experienced delays and multiple changes of scope and design since its inception in 2003.3 This report aims to provide a snapshot of the DOE CCS program, including its current funding levels and the budget request for FY2014, together with some discussion of the program's achievements and prospects for success in meeting its stated goals."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42496
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