Journal Article - China Environment Series

Advancing Carbon Capture and Sequestration in China: A Global Learning Laboratory

| 2010/2011


China's dependency on coal fuels the country's phenomenal economic growth but at a major cost to the country's air and water quality, ultimately threatening human health and the country's continued economic growth. The Chinese government's efforts to put China onto a cleaner, low carbon development path have been substantial; however China's pollution and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow. In an attempt to develop its own advanced coal generation technologies to improve the country's air quality and energy efficiency, the Chinese government is investing heavily in gasification and other technologies that can be employed in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) applications. This investment has turned China into a global laboratory for CCS pilot projects, attracting foreign governments, multilateral institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and business partners. China's leadership in developing CCS technology could ultimately help lower its costs and promote its commercialization globally, representing a major step forward to solving the global climate dilemma.

China has the most coal-dependent economy on earth, which has fueled the country's phenomenal economic growth. But this coalfueled growth has come at a major cost to air and water quality, and China is now the leading emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2). Although China's leadership has adopted aggressive policies to promote energy efficiency and renewables, as well as ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, the country's pollution and GHG emissions continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate. In order to substantially curb China's CO2 emissions, the Chinese government must implement carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology on a massive scale over the next few decades.

Geologic CCS involves the capture, transport and injection of CO2 into subsurface geologic formations (principally saline formations); depleted oil and gas reservoirs; and deep uneconomically mineable coal seams. The CO2 would be captured at a power plant or any industrial facility that emits it in high concentrations. CCS can potentially make a significant contribution to lowering GHG emissions by permanently storing CO2 underground.

CCS technology is advancing through pilot projects in Europe, the United States, Africa, Australia, Japan and China. China's efforts to develop CCS technology put it among the leading nations in the industry....

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For Academic Citation: Hart, Craig A. and Hengwei LIU. Advancing Carbon Capture and Sequestration in China: A Global Learning Laboratory.” China Environment Series, no. 11. (2010/2011) .

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