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Greening up fossil fuels with carbon sequestration

Researchers make progress fighting climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from power plants and storing it deep underground in geological reservoirs
March 25, 2013
Greening up fossil fuels with carbon sequestration

Most of the world’s existing energy supply is stored underground in hydrocarbon fuels. The fuels are extracted and then burned, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and driving increasingly rapid climate change in the process. But a large-scale, international research program is working to overcome the remaining obstacles to putting that carbon back into the ground where it came from, and Los Alamos scientists are making significant progress on many fronts.

Los Alamos scientists are making advances in virtually every aspect of carbon capture and storage research

Even with the rapid growth of renewable energy sources, the world will remain dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

Burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, driving global climate change.

The capture and long-term geological storage of carbon dioxide is one possible approach to mitigating climate change, but presents challenges in the scale at which it must be done (billions of metric tons per year) and the associated cost.

To meet these global challenges, Los Alamos scientists are making advances in virtually every aspect of carbon capture and storage research, including creating membranes for carbon dioxide separation and avoiding groundwater contamination by heavy metals and brine.

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