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Carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be removing over 10 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions a year by 2050 if rapid deployment starts this decade, according to the International Energy Agency.

CCS involves capturing CO2 from major industrial plants such as power stations, refineries and chemical plants and storing it safely underground.

The technology is already in use today. But with a wide range of geologic variations around the world a number of technical challenges remain to ensure the safe, large-scale and long-term underground storage of CO2. We are involved in a number of demonstration projects around the world to advance CCS and we have taken firm steps towards several major CCS projects.

Sulphur

Sulphur is increasingly found along with the natural gas and oil that energy companies produce. We remove the sulphur and put it to good use, for example by combining sulphur pellets with bitumen asphalt to make road surfaces more durable.

We have also developed sulphur concrete. This is tougher than traditional concrete and can withstand acidic and salty conditions, making it excellent for sea defences and waterworks. It also generates 30-50% fewer CO2 emissions compared to the traditional production of concrete.

Coal gasification

Coal is the world’s cheapest and most abundant fossil fuel. But burning it releases greenhouse gases, toxic heavy metals, and sulphur dioxide, a major cause of acid rain. Our coal gasification technology can now turn virtually any coal into synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that burns as cleanly as natural gas.

It costs more to build and operate a coal gasification power plant than a conventional one, but there is less waste because by-products can be reused. Coal gasification is more energy efficient than a conventional coal-fired plant, emitting less CO2 for the same amount of electricity produced.

The process also produces a concentrated, high-pressure stream of CO2 that could be captured and stored underground.

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We help to meet the world’s growing energy needs in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways.
Shell was one of the first energy companies to acknowledge the threat of climate change; to call for action by governments, our industry and energy users; and to take action ourselves.