As Canada has an abundant supply of coal, natural gas, and oil reserves, CanmetENERGY is exploring ways to lessen the environmental impact of fossil fuel combustion technologies, which currently comprise a substantial portion of the Canadian energy supply. One promising option is carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS involves capturing CO2 emissions from large point sources and storing them underground in suitable geological formations. The removal of CO2 from flue gas streams for storage is achieved using CO2 capture processes. The most promising capture processes, such as pre-combustion, post-combustion, and oxy-fuel combustion, produce a highly concentrated CO2 stream that is, after compression, ready for transport and storage. CanmetENERGY is actively pursuing the research and development of near-zero emissions oxy-fuel technologies for pulverized coal-fired power plants, oxy-fuel circulating fluidized bed combustion, high-pressure oxy-fuel combustion, feasibility studies of oxy-fuel combustion, gasification for CCS, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of oxy-fuel combustion. Other examples include CO2 capture and compression technologies, CO2 post-combustion capture processes and advanced power cycles.
Storage options such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and/or enhanced coal-bed methane (ECBM) recovery provide short-term opportunities for storing the captured CO2, while longer term options, such as storage in saline aquifers, are researched and assessed.
While leading the research and development of CO2 capture technologies, CanmetENERGY is also involved in funding and collaborative research in the following areas of CO2 storage: CO2 injection; monitoring, measurement, and verification; CO2 storage sites and opportunities; storage integrity; and capacity estimation through the Technology & Innovation program, PERD, the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative, and other funding programs.
The CCS program at CanmetENERGY has many linkages with academia, research institutions, and industry, and our CCS research program is supported by our state-of-the-art pilot-plant facilities, which are utilized by CanmetENERGY's research groups and by clients from the public and private sectors.
Carbon capture and storage projects underway at CanmetENERGY are positioning Canada as a global leader in turning the corner on climate change and in the development of clean technologies that recognize current international dependencies on energy derived from fossil fuels.