Carbon Dioxide Removal Approaches

Fossil fuel sources are likely to remain an important part of the U.S energy system for the near future (NRC, 2009d), in part because of their abundance and the legacy of infrastructure investments. Hence, it makes sense to consider options for capturing the GHGs emitted during or after fossil fuel combustion. Virtually all of these approaches have focused on removing CO2, as it is by far the most abundant GHG contributing to human-caused global warming. While there have been pilot projects and small commercial-scale projects to demonstrate the feasibility of some of these approaches, for the most part they remain in the research stage, and many involve important legal, practical, and governance concerns, as well as further technical research. Additional details about these approaches can be found in the companion report Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change (NRC, 2010c).

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