China's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project sealed off more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 15 months in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, operators told Xinhua Monday.
As an environmental protection project of China's megaton direct liquefaction coal project, the CCS project was listed as a national key technology project and was implemented by China's leading coal company Shenhua Group Corporation Ltd, located in Wulanmulun, Erjinhoro Banner, Inner Mongolia.
The project proved China as the first country able to realize the entire process of capturing carbon dioxide and sealing it in saline aquifers, said Shu Geping, general engineer of China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co., Ltd.
Experiments and research are still underway and the goal of sealing 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide is expected to be realized in June 2014, Shu said.
The underground saline aquifers in Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia can store tens of billions of carbon dioxide, and this kind of basin is quite common in China, which means the demonstration project will greatly contribute to reducing China's carbon emissions, said Zhang Dongxiao, dean of the Clean Energy Research Institute of Peking University.
About 80 percent of China's carbon dioxide emissions come from coal burning. China made a promise to the United Nations that by 2020 the country would reduce carbon dioxide emissions per gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent, based on levels observed in 2005.
Researchers with Shenhua said the current CCS technology only stores carbon dioxide but can not generate profits. To popularize the technology, carbon dioxide needs to become a resource that can be utilized, and Shenhua has started relevant research, Shu said.