CCS is a key technology in reaching our climate goals by 2050. But, keeping track off all the termonology, abbreviations and key organisations within the field can be daunting, even for the most well-versed of researchers.
To help out in having a common and cohesive language in the field, we decided to collect, sort and define some of the most commonly used terms and abbreviatios that you're sure to stumble upon at some point when learning about carbon capture, removal, utilization and storage technologies.
This list has been made with the help of trusted sources, and following comments and advice
from co-workers and experts within our joint programme.
The list is subject to change and will continue to evolve with the research and developments happening in the field.
We'll start of with some of the most important ones.
Feel free to send us a message if you'd like something added.
Some key terms and abbreviations
CCS // Carbon Capture & Storage
Might be a little obvious, but we have to start somewhere, right?
CCS stands for Carbon Capture & Storage. It's a process where waste carbon dioxide is captured from large industrial plants, transported in pipelines or ships, and deposited so it will not enter the atmosphere. EU energy and climate targets cannot be met cost-effectively without CCS.
CCUS // Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage
This abbreviation includes the term "use" or "utilization", which refers to using the captured CO2 in the process, for example as an input or feedstock to create products or services.
A combination of sustainable biomass conversion with CO2 capture and
storage, that is, in biofuels and bio-energy production.
A CCSR facility is a large-scale industrial or power source of CO2 which could and is intended to be retrofitted with CCS technology when the necessary regulatory and economic drivers are in place.
CDR // Carbon Dioxide Removal
Carbon Dioxide Removal refers to technologies and processes that might for example capture CO2 directly from air. The Paris Agreement explicitly includes the possibility of using CDR technologies to reach
the agreed climate goals.
Full-scale in CCS is about the capturing, transporting and storage of CO2 in a "full" chain project.
CO // Carbon Monoxide
A colourless, odourless toxic flammable gas formed by incomplete combustion of carbon.
CO2 // Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a colorless and non-flammable gas at normal temperature and pressure. Carbon dioxide is an essential constituent of our planet's air. A molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) is made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.
Capturing referes to the removal of CO2 coming from use of fossil
Following capture, the CO2 needs to be compressed from near atmospheric pressure to a pressure between 1500 and 2200 psi for transport via pipeline or rail and road, prior to injection.
The process of moving captured CO2 through a pipeline, or by other means (eg ship) from its source to a suitable storage site.
A process for retaining captured CO2 so that it does not reach the atmosphere.
The pumping of CO2 into geologic formations from the surface, most
likely as a dense, liquid-like fluid into either a coal bed, or a saline aquifer or hydrocarbon reservoir. If the CO2 is injected into a depleted hydrocarbon reservoir, then additional petroleum or natural gas could be extracted. If the CO2 is injected into a coal bed, then methane could be liberated and extracted.
CO2 Adsorption Capacity
The measure of the capacity to adsorb CO2 as a separation technology in CCS.
A measure used to compare emissions of different greenhouse gases based on their global warming
potential. If CO2 is given a value of 1; methane is 25 times more potent; and nitrous oxide 298 times more powerful
Negative CO2 Emissions
The opposite of ‘emissions’; a process that results in permanent removal of CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere through removal technologies which might include: bioenergy with CCS, biochar, ‘blue carbon’ habitat restoration and enhanced weathering.
To store something so that it is no longer available. Carbon sequestration involves the removal or storage of carbon dioxide so that it can’t be released into the atmosphere. The term is often regarded as synonymous with carbon storage, but has other confusing meanings and should be avoided in favour of storage. Terrestrial sequestration is the absorption and storage of CO2 by vegetation and soils in terrestrial ecosystems. In biology sequestration includes both capture and storage – a further complication to be avoided.
In CCS, the consolidated geological strata beneath the seabed, storage is usually at a considerable depth of thousands of metres within the strata beneath the bottom of the sea.
Well used for injecting fluids into the subsurface. A well into which fluids are injected rather than extracted.
A geological "formation," group of formations, or part of a formation receiving fluids through a well.
A subsurface body of rock with the porosity and permeability to store and transmit fluids or gases.
LNG // Liquefied Natural Gas
Natural gas that has been converted to a liquid form for the ease and safety of natural gas transport. Natural gas is cooled to approximately -260 F, creating a clear, colorless, and non-toxic liquid that can be transported from areas with a large supply of natural gas to areas that demand more natural gas.
The application of a structured process to identify and quantify the risks associated with a given process or activity, to evaluate these, to modify the process, to remove excess risks and to identify and implement appropriate monitoring and intervention strategies to manage the remaining risks.
EOR // Enhanced Oil Recovery
CO2 can be injected into depleted oil reservoirs to enhance oil recovery from the
reservoir. CO2 will dissolve into the residual oil in place, which lowers the viscosity of the oil. The lower viscosity enables the oil to flow more easily, which makes it possible to extract more oil from reservoirs (USGS definitions). EOR is a generic term for techniques for increasing the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from an oil field.
CH4 // Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula CH4. It is a group-14 hydride, the simplest alkane, and the main constituent of natural gas. The relative abundance of methane on Earth makes it an economically attractive fuel, although capturing and storing it poses technical challenges due to its gaseous state under normal conditions for temperature and pressure.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous, or nos, is a chemical compound, an oxide of nitrogen with the formula N
2O. At room temperature, it is a colourless non-flammable gas, and has a slightly sweet scent and taste.
PSI // Pound Per Square Inch
The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch. In SI units, 1 psi is approximately equal to 6895 Pa.
R&D // Research & Development
Research and development is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, and improving existing ones. Research and development constitutes the first stage of development of a potential new service or the production process.
PPM // Parts per Million
In science and engineering, the parts-per notation is a set of pseudo-units to describe small values of miscellaneous dimensionless quantities, e.g. mole fraction or mass fraction. Since these fractions are quantity-per-quantity measures, they are pure numbers with no associated units of measurement. Commonly used are parts-per-million (ppm, 10−6), parts-per-billion (ppb, 10−9), parts-per-trillion (ppt, 10−12) and parts-per-quadrillion (ppq, 10−15)
TRL // Technological Readiness Level
Technology readiness levels are a method for estimating the maturity of technologies during the acquisition phase of a program, developed at NASA during the 1970s. The use of TRLs enables consistent, uniform discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology.
HSE // Health, Safety and Environment
HSQE // Health, Safety, Quality and Environment
Uptake of CCS is far behind the levels necessary for reaching our climate goals.
CCS deployment faces a broad spectrum of barriers in both developed and developing countries. From legal and regulatory barriers, policy, economic and financial barriers to technical barriers and lack of public acceptance. There is still a long road ahead of us.
Rocks such as limestones or chalks, or minerals like calcite which are composed of an anion attached to a CO3 2- cation (CaCO3).
O&G // Oil & Gas
When talking about CCS technologies, oil & gas will often times be a part of the conversation. These are the two main types of hydrocarbons. The term is linked to the petroleum industry.
Gas formed through natural processes; it consists largely of methane, but can also contain other hydrocarbons, water, nitrogen, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. These other substances are separated before the methane is put into a pipeline or tanker.
FEED // Front End Engineering Design
Front-End Engineering (FEE), or Front-End Engineering Design (FEED), is an engineering design approach used to control project expenses and thoroughly plan a project before a fix bid quote is submitted.
In CCS, thin sheets of material that can separate carbon dioxide from other gases acting like a sieve.
MOF // Metal–Organic Framework
MOFs are hybrid porous solids representing a relatively new class of crystallized porous materials. They combine inorganic and organic moieties to build 3D networks exclusively through strong bonds.
LCA // Life Cycle Analysis
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool that can be used to assess the environmental impacts of a product, process or service from design to disposal i.e. across its entire lifecycle, a so called cradle to grave approach. The impacts on the environment may be beneficial or adverse. These impacts are sometimes referred to as the "environmental footprint" of a product or service.
A hydrocarbon is any of a class of organic chemicals made up of only the elements carbon and hydrogen. The carbon atoms join together, forming the framework of the compound. The hydrogen atoms attach to them in many different ways.
The removal of carbon. An economy can be decarbonized, meaning it has a minimal output of carbon in the form of GHGs (normally CO2) to the environment.
GWP // Global Warming Potential
A measure of the magnitude of the heat-trapping effect resulting from the addition of 1 kilogram of a gas to the atmosphere relative to that of 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide. GWP is a function of two factors, the instantaneous heat-absorbing ability of the gas, and the length of time that emissions of the gas persist in the atmosphere, on average.
GHGs // Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O),
hydroflurocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). GHGs are responsible for maintaining the Earth at a habitable temperature, but rising temperatures and ultimately global warming result from an imbalance in GHGs.
A naturally occurring process that aids in heating the Earth's surface and atmosphere. It results from
the fact that certain atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, and methane, are able to change the energy balance of the planet by absorbing longwave radiation emitted from the Earth's surface. Without the greenhouse effect life on this planet would probably not exist as the average temperature of the Earth would be a chilly -
18° Celsius, rather than the present 15° Celsius.
NCS // Norwegian Continental Shelf
The Norwegian continental shelf (Norwegian: Den norske kontinentalsokkelen) is the continental shelf over which Norway exercises sovereign rights as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is rich in petroleum and gas and it is the base of the petroleum economy of Norway.
The Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Important projects and organisations
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
The European Energy Research Alliance is the largest energy research community in Europe. It is a membership-based, non-profit association and brings together 250 universities and public research centres in 30 countries. EERA's joint research programmes cover the whole range of low-carbon technologies as well as systemic and cross-cutting topics.
That's us! We're one of the joint programmes within EERA. We consist of some of the world's brightest heads within the field of CCS, and we work to make large scale CCS deployment a reality. Find out more about us here.
SINTEF is one of Europe's largest research organisations.
The SINTEF group consists of several institutes dedicated to different research fields. SINTEF Energy Research focuses on contributing towards the transition to, and achievement of, future, sustainable, energy systems. SINTEF Energy Research is the current coordinating organisation of our joint programme on CCS.
NCCS is a Centre for Environment-Friendly Energy Research. NCCS aims to fast-track CCS by working closely with the industry on research that addresses major barriers in making CCS happen in Norway, Europe, and the world.
ACCSESS takes a cross-sectorial approach to CO2 Capture, Transportation, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), working with Pulp and Paper, Cement, Waste to Energy, and Biorefining, all industries with big potential for carbon dioxide removal.
The IEA is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative analysis, data, policy recommendations, and real-world solutions to help countries provide secure and sustainable energy for all.
An international partnership that aims to evaluate technologies for reducing GHG emissions, disseminate the results of these studies, and identify targets for research, development and demonstration.
The World Energy Outlook (WEO) provides critical analysis and insights on trends in energy demand and supply, and what they mean for energy security, environmental protection and economic development.
ECCSEL ERIC is a distributed, integrated research infrastructure encompassing interlinked transnational scientific facilities and national nodes.
SCCS is the largest CCS research group in the UK, providing a single point of coordination for CCS research, from capture engineering and geoscience to social perceptions and environmental impact through to law and petroleum economics.
CEMCAP is a project funded by Horizon 2020 addressing CO2 capture from cement production. The primary objective of CEMCAP was to prepare the ground for large-scale implementation of CO2 capture in the European cement industry.
European Network of Excellence on the Geological Storage of CO2 is an Association of 13 research institutes from 7 European countries, engaged for scientific advancement in the field of CO2 storage.
Conservation of Clean Air and Water in Europe. Concawe was established in 1963 by a small group of leading oil companies to carry out research on environmental issues relevant to the oil industry. Its membership has broadened to include most oil companies operating in Europe
IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. is an environmental non-government organization (ENGO) created to provide independent risk and performance assessments of CO2 storage projects.
LEILAC is a Horizons 2020 project “developing, building and operating a pilot plant to demonstrate Direct Separation calcining technology applied to the lime and cement industries, allowing to capture over 95% of the process CO2 emissions (which is 60 % of total CO2 emissions) without significant energy or capital penalty.”
LINCCS // Linking Large-Scale, Cost-Effective, Permanent Offshore CO2 Storage Across The CCS Value Chain
By bringing together actors from the entire value chain, LINCCS not only hopes to accelerate CCS deployment, but also make it more cost-effective and easier to be implemented by European industries. This will contribute significantly to lowering our CO2 emissions.
MOF4AIR // Metal Organic Frameworks for Carbon Dioxide Adsorption Processes in Power Production and Energy Intensive industriesMetal Organic Frameworks for Carbon Dioxide Adsorption Processes in Power Production and Energy Intensive industries
Let's adress the elephant in the room first, what is a MOF? MOFs are hybrid porous solids representing a relatively new class of crystallized porous materials. They combine inorganic and organic moieties to build 3D networks exclusively through strong bonds. MOF4AIR is a H2020 project gathering 14 partners from 8 countries to develop and demonstrate the performances of MOF-based CO2 capture technologies in power plants and energy intensive industries.
The EU ETS is a cornerstone of the EU's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is the world's first major carbon market and remains the biggest one.
The Global CCS Institute is an international think tank whose mission is to accelerate the deployment of CCS, a vital technology to tackle climate change and deliver climate neutrality.
Head on over to our full member list, consisting of key universities and research organisations from all over Europe.