Carbon Sequestration and Fuels Decarbonization
Source: DOE
Date: 10/1/97    Record No.: 10507

Carbon Sequestration and Fuels Decarbonization

The Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (CEES) at Princeton University issued a report on September 29 entitled "Fuels Decarbonization and Carbon Sequestration: Report of a Workshop." The workshop was held in Washington, D.C., on July 28-29, 1997, and was sponsored by the U.S. Department of energy.

The core idea of the report is a "safer fossil" concept that requires the traditional industries of oil, gas, and coal to assume a lead role in future environmentally sensitive energy use. The goal of safer fossil is to separate the energy function from the carbon content of fossil fuels. Fuels would be "decarbonized" to hydrogen and used efficiently. The removed carbon would be deliberately "sequestered," that is, disposed of at a high concentration in such a way that the carbon does not reach the atmosphere for centuries or longer. Among the potential sequestration sites are deep saline aquifers and the deep ocean.

The energy-environment-economy challenge demands parallel work along many tracks at once. The idea of "safer fossil" is new and exciting and deserves thoughtful attention. This report provides sufficient detail for all those interested in energy policy to develop their independent views.

The report is available as a hard copy document from CEES, or on the World Wide Web ( in three formats: 1) an on-line (HTML) document; 2) a downloadable Microsoft Word Version 6.0 file; and, 3) an Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) file.
An excerpt from the report:

Seven principal findings emerged from the workshop:

A. Several of the key enabling technologies for fuels decarbonization and carbon sequestration are already commercialized or close to commercialization.
B. At the scale of deployment in industry today, fuel decarbonization and carbon sequestration are well matched; they might be combined effectively in pilot programs.
C. Matching the distributed character of transportation energy use with the more centralized character of sequestration poses significant challenges.
D. There is a rich array of prospective technological routes both to fuels decarbonization and to carbon sequestration.
E. Environment, health, and safety are compelling concerns and appropriate subjects for research.
F. The necessary work cannot be done without new partnerships.
G. What is proposed here is not a panacea.

Topics: fossil, coal, environment