We know about all the harmful effects of carbon dioxide in our world today. Industrial and energy plants are known to be the main culprits of carbon emissions. Fortunately, some of these industries are responsible enough to prevent carbon dioxide from getting into the atmosphere through carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration involves processes that inhibit carbon dioxide from getting into our atmosphere. CO2 sequestration has different types, and various energy companies use different types to conduct the overall carbon sequestration process in their fields.
This article will highlight more on Carbon sequestration, the different types of Carbon sequestration, and the importance of the whole process.
What is Carbon Sequestration?
Carbon sequestration is not a new technology – chemical, power, and petroleum industries have used the technology for decades. For example, carbon sequestration was first used in Texas in 1972 in enhancing oil recovery. So, what exactly is carbon sequestration?
This technology is also referred to as carbon capture and storage (CSS). It is a technology used to capture, transport, and store Carbon for a long time to avoid releasing it into the atmosphere. The method’s main aim is to minimize carbon dioxide in the air and subsequently reduce global warming and adverse climate changes.
The process is either artificial or natural. For example, 25 percent of the carbon emission in the atmosphere are naturally sequestered by forests, trees, and farms. It is also important to note that 45 percent of carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere while the rest is naturally sequestered.
Artificial carbon sequestration does not only capture CO2but it also captures other types of Carbon in the atmosphere. Also, the technology involves capturing and storing CO2 in either liquid or solid form.
Natural carbon sequestration involves carbon sinks. These are reservoirs that retain the Carbon and inhibit its release into the atmosphere. For instance, deforestation as we know it is a source of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. At the same time, afforestation becomes a form of carbon sequestration where the forests serve as carbon sinks.
Types of Carbon Sequestration
Different types of carbon sequestration are used to inhibit the massive release of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. Below are the three mainly used types of carbon sequestration.
- Biological Carbon Sequestration.
- Geological Carbon Sequestration.
- Technological Carbon Sequestration.
Biological Carbon Sequestration
This type of carbon sequestration involves the storage of carbon dioxide in vegetation such as forests, soil, oceans, and grasslands. Carbon sequestration in oceans involves positive and negative fluxes. Positive atmospheric flux is where the ocean releases carbon into the atmosphere, while the negative fluxes involve the oceans absorbing CO2. These fluxes significantly impact the overall process of carbon sequestration.
The colder parts of the ocean tend to capture more Carbon than the warmer parts of the ocean. Therefore, the polar regions automatically become carbon sinks for carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration in soil involves capturing Carbon through the process of photosynthesis. The soil then stores Carbon as soil organic carbon (SOC). Unfortunately, different agroecosystems may deplete the SOC.
The good news is that this deficit creates opportunities to store up Carbon using new practices for managing land. Soil can also store Carbon as carbonates. The carbonates can store up Carbon for several decades.
Forests and grasslands can also serve as great carbon sinks. For instance, forests are said to capture 25 percent of the Carbon emitted globally. However, the downside of forests is that they are greatly affected by weather conditions such as drought.
In addition, when plants and leaves fall off trees, they release carbon dioxide into the air, thus reducing their effectiveness as carbon sinks.
Grasslands, on the other hand, and according to the University of California, do not get hit like most forests do, thus making them better carbon sinks.
Geological Carbon Sequestration
Geological carbon sequestration involves storing up Carbon in geological formations such as rocks. Usually, carbon dioxide is captured from an industrial source and is then injected into these rock formations.
Such industrial sources include energy-related sources such as natural gas production facilities or power plants, cement, or steel production facilities. The Carbon injected into these porous rocks is then stored for a long time. This type of carbon sequestration allows using fossil fuels until another large-scale energy source is identified and introduced.
Technological Carbon Sequestration
For years scientists have been looking for technological ways to capture and store the CO2 from the atmosphere. However, more researchers are also looking to different technologies to help in capturing CO2 and using it as a resource.
One example of using CO2 as a resource is using it in graphene production. Graphene is used in the manufacturing of screens for smartphones and other electrical devices. Graphene may be limited to only a few industries, but it is a perfect example of how CO2 can produce graphene.
Using CO2 as a resource may enhance the reduction of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere.
Direct Air Capture is another example of the technological carbon sequestration method. It involves directly capturing CO2 from the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the process is very costly, and it also uses a lot of energy to capture the Carbon directly from the atmosphere. The DAP technique can effectively reduce the CO2 from the atmosphere, but it is still too costly.
Additionally, scientists are trying to engineer molecules designed to single out and capture CO2 from the atmosphere.
Professionals Consultation Matters
Carbon sequestration is a critical topic in the oil and gas industry, considering the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment.
If you are involved in the oil production industry, you know that the industry is also a culprit in the carbon emissions mayhem. Therefore, it is wise to think of ways to capture the CO2 before it is released into the air.
The main question for you and many involved in the oil production industry is what kind of carbon sequestration method will work for an oil field. To get the correct answers, you need to consult those experienced in determining such a factor.
There are many consulting companies like Melzer Consulting experienced in watching the CO2 marketing dynamics and the CO2 enhanced oil recovery industry. Such professionals have all the information you may need on the different types of carbon sequestration and which type will work for your oil field project.