The major cause of global warming is greenhouse gas emissions. Human activities like burning of fossil fuel intensify this and for this reason, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is of utmost priority in USA for fighting against continuous global warming. Carbon dioxide is a major constituent of greenhouse gas. A new way of cutting down carbon dioxide getting mixed into the environment is under serious consideration. Research conducted positively indicates that trapping carbon dioxide underground could be the ultimate solution for minimizing the greenhouse effect. According to the U. S. Energy Information Administration, the country emits 5.4 metric billion tons of carbon dioxide.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducted detailed assessment and located 36 regions where 2400 to 3700 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide can be stored underground. These regions exclude fresh water resources and have solid rock structure for keeping the carbon dioxide in liquid state under pressure so that the trapped gas ultimately gets dissolved into the briny water.
The process is called Geologic carbon sequestration. In this process the exhaust gas of the power plants are captured before releasing out in atmosphere and carbon dioxide is separated from other gasses. It is then cooled and compressed to supercritical state and pumped into the subsurface rocks at a depth between at least 3000 to 15000 feet minimum. This should work as natural reserves are preserved under the earth surface for millions of years.
While the rock surface should be porous for storing carbon dioxide, there should be a solid rock surface on the top for keeping the gas sealed. Leaking could be major concern and researches are going on to assess the risk involved for such subsurface carbon dioxide storage. Economic viability could be the other barrier against implementation.via businessinsider