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Imperial College: Global carbon capture rates inflated as much as 30%

July 27, 2022

Energy Monitor:

The amount of carbon that has been captured and stored globally via carbon capture and storage (CCS) since 1996 has been overestimated by up to 30%, according to new research from Imperial College London. 

Imperial’s researchers compared estimates of stored carbon with official reports and found that the reports lead to overestimates of actual carbon stored by 19–30%. They calculate that 197 million tonnes of carbon were actually captured and stored between 1996 and 2020. A lack of consistent reporting frameworks is leading to this being overestimated in reports, giving an inaccurate picture of the technology’s contribution to fighting climate change.

CCS aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by capturing greenhouse gas emissions at source and storing them underground. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said the technology will be key to reaching the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Currently, the most centralised and up-to-date information on capture rates comes from the annual reports and databases of think tanks. However, these report CCS activity according to the capacity of facilities rather than actual carbon stored. As of 2021, they estimated global capture capacity at 40 million tonnes per year across 26 operational CCS facilities.

[Oliver Gordon]

More: Global CCS rates overestimated by up to 30% – Imperial College London

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