A study explores the economic feasibility of constructing large-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) infrastructure. Current deployment of CCUS technology lags behind estimates of deployment required to limit global warming to within the 2 °C target of the Paris Agreement. In February 2018, the US Congress passed tax incentives for new CCUS projects. Given the incentives, Ryan Edwards and Michael Celia explored the economic feasibility of capturing CO2 from ethanol biorefineries in the US Midwest--a major source of low-capture-cost emissions--and transporting it via pipeline to the Permian Basin of West Texas for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The authors estimate that an entirely privately funded pipeline network would not be economically viable. However, low-cost government financing of 50% or 100% of pipeline construction would enable 19 million or 28.7 million tonnes per year, respectively, of CO2 to be profitably captured and transported. The authors estimate that the latter scenario would double global anthropogenic carbon capture and increase CO2 supply to the EOR industry by almost 50%. The results suggest that government investment in CCUS infrastructure could address challenges associated with CCUS deployment. Opportunities for such investment, including future scale-up considerations, should be pursued to enable the industry's rapid development once the economics of large-scale CCUS become favorable, according to the authors.
Article #18-06504: "Infrastructure to enable deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage in the United States," by Ryan W. J. Edwards and Michael A. Celia.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ryan W. J. Edwards, Princeton University, NJ; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org