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Environmental impacts of carbon capture, transport, and storage supply chains: Status and the way forward


Carbon capture, transport, and storage (CCTS) enables the decarbonization of industrial emitters. CCTS is regarded as crucial in reaching net-zero emission targets but currently stands far behind the required scale. CCTS deployment for point sources may be accelerated by CCTS chains relying on currently available technology, called pioneering supply chains. In particular, transporting CO2 in standard containers can be implemented without new transport infrastructure. Pioneering CCTS chains must not cause more emissions than they store to successfully avoid CO2 emissions. Using life cycle assessment, we show that pioneering CCTS chains emit less CO2 than they store permanently, demonstrating that CCTS can already today avoid 50 to 70% of point source GHG emissions. This evidence proves robust against uncertainties based on the scarce operational experience in CCTS. Our environmental assessment shows that increasing the capture rate above the assumed 90% is a main lever to increase emissions avoidance of the CCTS chains above 80%. Capturing and transporting the CO2 causes large shares of the chain's global warming impact as they rely on fossil fuels. Reducing GHG emission intensity of energy supply and switching to pipeline-based transport can reduce global warming and other environmental impacts compared to pioneering CCTS chains. Our analysis shows that pioneering chains can accelerate infrastructure scale-up while successfully storing CO2 from point sources. © 2023 The Author(s)
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Academic article


  • EC/H2020 / 101022487




  • Johannes Burger
  • Julian Nöhl
  • Jan Seiler
  • Paolo Gabrielli
  • Pauline Oeuvray
  • Viola Becattini
  • Adriana Reyes Lua
  • Luca Riboldi
  • Giovanni Sansavini
  • André Bardow


  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Gassteknologi



Published in

International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control







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