Earthquakes might undermine carbon capture and
Earthquakes, triggered by injecting large volumes of CO2 gas underground, may undermine the global warming mitigation strategy known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
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Earthquake triggering and large-scale geologic storage of carbon dioxide
Despite its enormous cost, large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) is considered a viable strategy for significantly reducing CO2 emissions associated with coal-based electrical power generation and other industrial sources of CO2 [...] We argue here that there is a high probability that earthquakes will be triggered by injection of large volumes of CO2 into the brittle rocks commonly found in continental interiors. Because even small- to moderate-sized earthquakes threaten the seal integrity of CO2 repositories, in this context, large-scale CCS is a risky, and likely unsuccessful, strategy for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Underground carbon dioxide storage likely would cause earthquakes
The notion of mitigating harmful carbon dioxide emissions by storing the gas underground is not practical because the process is likely to cause earthquakes that would release the gas anyway, according to a commentary published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the scientists do not expect that the approach would cause any large and dangerous seismic activity, they say it is likely that the earthquakes would be severe enough to jeopardize the ability to store the gas underground over the long term.
Carbon capture prompts quake risk fear
...Underground injections of wastewater have already been linked to small to moderate earthquakes in the US in recent years, it said, citing one apparent case as early as 1960 in Colorado and others last year in Arkansas and Ohio.
''The situation would be far more problematic if similar-sized earthquakes were triggered in formations intended to sequester CO2 for hundreds to thousands of years.''
A separate study by the US National Research Council on Friday found the process ''may have potential for inducing larger seismic events.''
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