The Challenges of Carbon Sequestration: Storing CO2 Underground

Athena
2 min readNov 13, 2023

In our ongoing battle against climate change, carbon sequestration — the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) — has emerged as a potential game-changer. Among various methods, storing CO2 underground has garnered significant attention. Growing up on a farm — one of the places that many consider a good option for places to put CO2, I worry about the risks to our health associated with Carbon Sequestration and promote the ‘not in my back yard’ and there has to be a better solution thought.

What is Carbon Sequestration?

Carbon sequestration involves capturing CO2, a major contributor to global warming, and storing it to prevent its release into the atmosphere. The idea is to mimic the natural process where CO2 is stored in rocks, plants, and oceans over long periods. Technologically, this involves capturing CO2 from industrial and energy-related sources, transporting it to a storage site, and injecting it into underground geological formations.

The Potential of Underground Storage

The potential of underground CO2 storage is immense. Geological formations such as depleted oil and gas fields, deep saline aquifers, and unmineable coal seams are considered suitable for long-term CO2 storage. By utilizing these spaces, we can significantly reduce the volume of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Challenges and Concerns

1. Leakage Risk

One of the primary concerns with underground CO2 storage is the risk of leakage. If CO2 escapes from its storage site, it could negate the benefits of sequestration. Moreover, leaked CO2 could migrate to the surface, posing risks to human health and the environment.

2. Monitoring and Verification

Ensuring the permanent and safe storage of CO2 requires robust monitoring and verification systems. This involves tracking the movement of CO2 underground and detecting any potential leaks, which can be technically complex and expensive.

3. Economic Viability

The economic aspect of carbon sequestration cannot be overlooked. Capturing, transporting, and storing CO2 is an expensive process. Without financial incentives or regulatory frameworks…

--

--

Athena

Mom of three boys. Computer programmer living in the country with my husband focusing on my hobbies and youngest son. https://ko-fi.com/athenaandrew