Until now, carbon capture and storage has been fairly controversial. While the technology can reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants by up to 99%, figures from the IPCC suggest that capturing and compressing CO2 could also increase the fuel needs those plants by as much as 40% and sequestering that waste merely relocates the pollutants rather than remove them completely.
That may be about to change, however, as Scientific American reports that a company called Skyonic is on the brink of opening a plant to convert captured CO2 into useable chemicals like baking soda which has many commercial uses. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=construction-begins-on-new-carbon-capture-plant
You can read more about the company on their website: http://skyonic.com/skymine/
The project has some serious backers, including Berg & Berg, BP and ConnocoPhillips, as well as a number of venture capital firms, though there are some big question marks over the economic viability of the process. There is no great shortage of the chemicals produced by Skyonic's process so demand and prices are unlikely to cover the full cost of manufacture. On the other hand, the net cost of extraction and conversion may still be lower than the cost of mitigation or storage of CO2 if governments were to introduce a carbon tax.
Category: Sustainable energy: Fossil fuel