Scientists have unveiled the first standard for underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) for Canada and the U.S.
The CSA Z741 Geological storage of carbon dioxide standard provides essential guidelines for regulators, industry and others around the world involved with scientific and commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) in conjunction with the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.) have been developing the standard since 2009.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has pushed for the development of CCS technologies to combat greenhouse gas emissions. National or international standards for the long-term storage of CO2 are needed to help ensure risks are identified and addressed, the agency said.
The standard’s creators estimate carbon capture units can be used to reduce emissions from industrial plants by 85 to 95 per cent.
"This standard will help instill public and regulator confidence in the geologic storage of CO2 as an effective CO2 mitigation option," said IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. CEO Carmen Dybwad in a November 16, 2012 statement to media. "The publication of this standard is a turning point for the CCS industry and in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our fight against climate change."
According to the IEA, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011. This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt over 2010 data, or 3.3 per cent.