Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) processes remove carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise be emitted from fossil fuel power stations and other industrial processes and transport it for permanent underground storage. In Great Britain (GB), storage of CO2 will only take place offshore in saline formations or depleted oil and gas fields.
CCS is an integrated process involving three stages:
- Capture of CO2 from power stations and other large industrial sources,
- Transporting CO2 (usually in pipelines) to a storage site,
- Permanent storage of CO2 in deep geological features.
General hazards of CO2
CO2 is not harmful to health at low concentrations. It is not flammable and will not support combustion. However, at high concentrations CO2 is a recognised workplace hazard where it can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion and loss of consciousness. Fatalities by asphyxiation have also occurred where CO2 has displaced oxygen in confined spaces.
CCS is a new process and there are currently no commercial scale projects operating in GB. Future CCS operators will be able to make sure that their CCS processes are safe for workers and members of the public by complying with existing health and safety legislation and by taking a proportionate approach to managing CCS risks.