Understanding carbon capture and storage

The climate change challenge

Research has shown that the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere has increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial era. Unless we do something to reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, the world will continue to experience the effects of climate change.

What is CCS?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), sometimes called carbon capture and sequestration, prevents large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The technology involves capturing CO2 produced by large industrial plants, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep into a rock formation at a carefully selected and safe site, where it is permanently stored.

How CCS works

CCS involves three major steps:

  • Capture
    The separation of CO2 from other gases produced at large industrial process facilities such as coal and natural gas power plants, oil and gas plants, steel mills and cement plants.
  • Transport
    Once separated, the CO2 is compressed and transported via pipelines, trucks, ships or other methods to a suitable site for geological storage.
  • Storage
    CO2 is injected into deep underground rock formations, often at depths of one kilometre or more. 

Information Resources

The Institute’s factsheets on the various aspects of CCS are easy to follow and can be used for educating the broader community about the technology.

The Institute has developed easy-to-understand images of the processes involved in carbon capture and storage. The images can be used in static or animated formats. We encourage you to download these images and use them whenever and wherever appropriate.

In collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Institute has developed a CCS education module as part of the CSIRO’s CarbonKids program.

Insights into CCS

The Institute has a vast global network of CCS practitioners who share their experiences and insights through a variety of Institute-supported knowledge networks and blogs.

They write about a range of CCS-related issues, including:

The latest in CCS

The Institute sometimes issues media releases to inform the general community about CCS issues and activities. We also publish information about the latest news on CCS from media outlets around the world.

Useful publications

The Institute’s publications library comprises hundreds of the most up-to-date and peer reviewed expert technical reports, best practice guides and other resources. They cover all aspects of CCS, including project, policy, financial, legal, regulatory, technical and operational issues.

View a list of all publications or search the database.