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Carbon Sequestration


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Table of Contents

PPRG Contents

Major Topic Sections

Fossil-fueled Power
Non-Fossil Generation
End-Use Efficiency
Electricity T&D
Carbon Sequestration
Non-CO2 Reductions
Other GHG Reductions

Related topics in this section

Terrestrial Seq.
Carb. Capture&Storage
Regional Partnerships


 Carbon Sequestration


"Carbon capture and storage" (CCS), also sometimes referred to as "carbon sequestration," is a family of methods for capturing and permanently isolating CO2 gases that otherwise could contribute to global climate change.  Affordable and environmentally safe sequestration approaches could offer a way to stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide without requiring the United States and other countries to make large-scale and potentially costly changes to their energy infrastructures.

There are two primary types of carbon sequestration:

  Terrestrial Sequestration: Enhancing natural processes to increase the removal of carbon from the atmosphere (e.g., forestation).
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Carbon dioxide is captured at its source (e.g., power plants, industrial processes) and subsequently stored in non-atmospheric reservoirs (e.g., depleted oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams, deep saline formations, deep ocean).

Both primary types of CCS are discussed in separate topic papers within this section. The links on the left side of this page can take you there. Each has multiple pathways within it as well. Terrestrial sequestration encompasses forest lands, agricultural lands, biomass croplands, and others. The field of carbon capture and storage includes storage in various types of geologic formations, mineral carbonation, ocean storage, and novel concepts.

Additionally, this section of the PPRG includes topic papers on two important carbon sequestration initiatives:

Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships
The international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)


The References listed below are useful sources pertaining to the general area of carbon sequestration. References that are more specific to a single topic are listed in the appropriate topic pages.

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 References, Sources, and Other Useful Data

Resources and links specific to individual topics within this section are listed separately for that topic’s web page. The Resource links shown below are more cross-cutting, and relate to carbon sequestration in general. Additional resources are provided for the specific topic areas indicated by the link bar on the left of this page.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Carbon Sequestration” Home Page

Description of USDOE Fossil Energy's key R&D programs and initiatives, including the Carbon Sequestration Core Program.

U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Technologies: Carbon Sequestration”

NETL’s Carbon Sequestration Webpage describes their core R&D in carbon capture, sequestration, measurement monitoring and verification, breakthrough concepts, and non-CO2 greenhouse gas control. The website contains links to related NETL activities and carbon sequestration resources generally.

U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Carbon Sequestration Newsletter Subscriptions”

The Carbon Sequestration newsletter is produced by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and presents summaries of significant news and published literature related to carbon sequestration from the past month. Archives of previous months' postings are available on the website. One can subscribe to the Carbon Sequestration Newsletter by filling out an online form.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Carbon Sequestration Technology Roadmap and Program Plan 2007,”

The Carbon Sequestration Technology Roadmap and Program Plan represents a general consensus to date on what major science and technology pathways have potential for achieving the goals of carbon sequestration. The implementation of these pathways—how the work will be accomplished—will be carried out by various stakeholders. The roadmap will evolve as more information becomes available from ongoing policy analysis and technology planning efforts.

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Last revised: Dec. 11, 2009.