MUCH attention in recent years has been devoted to cleaning up traditional fossil fuel power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS). As a consequence of relative ease of retrofit to an existing power station, most of the emphasis has been on post-combustion capture. This involves removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power station flue gases by absorption into amine solutions, releasing the captured CO2 from the amine, drying the CO2 then compressing it into a liquid. Liquefied CO2 is pumped to a storage facility, commonly proposed in the UK to be depleted offshore oil and gas fields.
So far CCS in the UK is still not much further forward after more than ten years of endeavour. The reason why is summed up by Lord Oxburgh in his contribution to the BEIS commissioned report on CCS where he said: “There is no serious commercial incentive and it will stay that way unless the state demonstrates there is a business there.”