Britain has pledge to assist China is looking to implement carbon capture vision

While the U.S. was the leader in CO2 emissions for a single nation for the better part of a century, China recently surpassed the world in emissions.  In fact, between now and 2030, Chinese emissions are expected to double as the country continues its path of rampant industrialization.

China chiefly uses coal as its fuel source as it has rich coal resources.  It burns the coal in power plants, in a process that typically emits massive amounts of carbon dioxide.  U.S. plants have various scrubbers and filters to take out other carbon based compounds, such as phenols, many of which are carcinogenic.  Many of China's plants lack these technologies, leading to a two-fold problem -- rising emissions and rising airborne toxins.

Britain, who has had a long and tumultuous relationship with China over the years, now is turning to this familiar land to try to aid a helping hand.  Engineers with British Geological Survey (BGS) attended the launch of the Near Zero Emissions Coal (NZEC) Phase 1 study in Beijing, China last week, a study which aims to implement explore new technologies to capture virtually all the carbon pollution from coal burning plants in China.

The process used is called carbon capture and storage (CCS), and with it China looks to make good on the pledge it made at an EU-China Summit in September 2005.  China has pledged to develop and implement a large scale Near Zero Emissions Coal demonstration.  In order to achieve this goal, China is teaming up with the British scientists of the BGS.

Dr. Nick Riley MBE, Head of Science for Energy at BGS, was enthusiastic about the work commenting, "CCS offers the opportunity to reduce emissions per unit of electricity by 85 - 90%. Large-scale deployment of CCS in China has potential to significantly reduce future greenhouse gas emissions".

The Chinese will utilize the BGS's specialties to help find and map strategically sedimentary basins that could possibly be used as CO2 storage grounds.  These regions will undergo geocapacity testing (assessments of how much can be stored).  The next step is to pick the best locations and put them through an even more thorough analysis and then utilize these sites in the demonstration system.

China's NZEC program is funded by Britain, through Defra, Britain's agriculture and food department, and DBERR, Britain's business regulatory department. It is coordinated by AEA Energy & Environment (UK) and ACCA21 (China).

Perhaps the BGS and China should look at storing the CO2 not on land, but in the sea.  New American research from Harvard University, detailed at DailyTech looks to use sand in a CCS process which stores CO2 highly effectively in the sea

The problem of industrial pollution and carbon emissions certainly remains a thorny issue, but many will be pleased to see China make serious efforts to work towards meeting or even beating international pollution standards.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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