Information about Carbon Capture and Storage - CCS


In addition to its CO2 effects, which are addressed under CLIMATE EFFICIENCY, CCS is a CO2 reduction technology with a number of other environmental impacts.

They are the result of technology’s inevitable additional use of energy on the one hand and the production of a variety of physical systems such as the capture installations, the transport infrastructure and the injection facilities on the other side.

See CCS chain in this figure.

The environmental impacts of each of the links in the chain of activities related to a coal power plant with CCS include:

  • Emissions of Nox, Sox, hydrocarbons, particulates, VOCs and heavy metals,
  • Solid and liquid waste,
  • Impacts on ground and surface water,
  • Increased consumption of energy, water and raw materials,
  • Nature and landscape degradation,
  • Noise and aesthetic impacts.

The extent of environmental impacts as a result of CCS depends primarily on how much the additional consumption of energy will be in the different stages of the technology. We would want to have been able to quantify the relative environmental effects as a consequence of CCS but it has not been possible in this context.

You can get a rough idea of what and how much it comes to by looking as one of technology’s key links: the capture part.


If the energy consumption per kWh delivered to the consumer eg. is 40% higher (see Climate effects) compared to a situation without CCS then this implies that about 40% more coal has to be mined and 40% more coal must be transported.

There will also be undertaken feasibility studies, the CO2 capture part and facilities for the compression of the CO2 stream must be built, pipelines for the transportation of the compressed (liquid) CO2 must be built including pumping stations and the final injection facility. The compressed CO2 must be transported and pumped into the ground. Finally, the stored CO2 has to be monitored and the storage must be maintained.

Each of these activities has a number of environmental impacts, some of which are immediately quantifiable (eg . the mining and transportation of coal and the capture of CO2 ), while others are not (eg . plant construction and transport).

We have therefore chosen only to give a brief description of the main environmental impacts, bearing in mind that the environmental effects occur, whether we are able to quantify them or not.

Environmental Effects

Environmental effects of

  • mining of coal (additional consumption due to CCS)
  • transport of coal (additional consumption due to CCS)
  • feasibility studies
  • construction of CCS plant
  • operation of CCS plants (capture)
  • construction of transport infrastructure (pipelines and pumping stations)
  • transport and injection of CO2
  • storage and monitoring of CO2 (storage)

Read more in this pdf: Environmental Effects of CCS


Open questions:

How large are the extra emissions to air, land and water of nitrogen and ulphur compounds, particulates, mercury, etc. per kWh by installing and using CCS at coal-fired power plants?

How large will the total environmental impacts become?

How much larger will the water consumption and water withdrawal be?


NOAH’s position on the environmental impacts of CCS