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Sustainability Of Carbon Capture Essay

671 words - 3 pages

Carbon Capture and Sequestration: A Step towards Sustainability
Our planet, on its current course, is on a steady march towards its death. Each year we do more and more to destroy our environment. One huge component to this destruction is the emission of greenhouse gases, mainly, carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases are gases that when present in our atmosphere, trap the heat of the sun and progressively make earth warmer and warmer. This is leading to long term problems such as drought, famine, and even possibly extinction if not quelled. In order to sustain our way of life, and save the earth for future generations, I propose expanded use of carbon capture and sequestration.
The EPA defines carbon capture as: “a set of technologies that can greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources.” (“Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration”) Now as nearly 77% (“Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions ...view middle of the document...

After capture it is then transported in either of two ways. One is in a tanker truck in a liquid form, to be used for several other industrial uses such as food and beverage production, metal fabrication, and paper production. The other way is to pump it through pipelines to be stored, or sequestered, beneath the surface of the earth. This gas is also used to increase yields from depleted oil and natural gas reserves, by raising the levels of the reserves to the necessary heights to be reached by drilling.
Is this safe for underground drinking water? One might wonder that, but most standard drinking wells and fresh water aquifers occur within 50 to 750 feet beneath the surface of the earth. In the case of carbon sequestration, carbon dioxide is stored in impermeable caverns more than a mile deep in the earth, far from any serviceable water sources. This effectively removes the pollutant from the air for good. The reduction of those gases then in turn helps lower global temperatures, allowing arid drought ravaged areas to return to a sustainable climate. Those areas returning to sustainability reduces stress on all the remaining ecological regions, helping sustainability worldwide.
People may argue that doing away with coal-fueled power plants in favor of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric. The problem with that is the infrastructure needed to implement such a plan isn’t in place. In the time it would take to build such infrastructure necessary to produce the amount of energy needed to make an impact, we could permanently damage earth’s atmosphere beyond repair. To buy that extra time, in North America alone, we have room to sequester at least 600 years of carbon release, while the infrastructure is advanced. While renewable energy will help us reach sustainability, it will only compliment coal-fueled energy for the foreseeable future. This makes carbon capture and sequestration the best way to make an immediate impact on the sustainability of our environment.

Works Cited
“Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration” EPA.
n.p. 20 Sept. 2013 Web 23 Mar. 2014

“Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data” EPA.
n.p. 9 Sept. 2013 Web 23 Mar. 2014

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