What Role Do CO2 Transportation and Injection Pumps Play in ESG?By PumpWorks Engineering Team / November 14, 2022
Modern industries can achieve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals through carbon capture and storage. With an ever-increasing drive for the safe handling of industrial and commercial emissions, CO2 injection pumping has become increasingly popular. This article considers how pumping carbon dioxide underground helps to lower undesirable emission levels.
The Importance of ESG Initiatives
Implementing effective ESG strategies in the industrial environment cannot be overstated. Most industrial production processes are associated with releasing carbon emissions with negative environmental implications. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, will retain heat and increase global warming.
What Is CO2 Pumping and How Does It Work?
Carbon dioxide pumping has been around as an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique. EOR has dual benefits as it aids in oil and gas production at the same time as it helps the environment (the vast majority of the CO2 injected for EOR remains underground). First, CO2 can be pumped into natural gas wells with dwindling formation pressures to boost productivity and longevity.
In addition, pumping CO2 into the ground in this manner will help the fight against rising greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide from various industrial processes, including natural gas recovery, can be redirected and safely stored in subterranean rock formations.
How Does CO2 Pumping Work?
Pumping carbon dioxide into subsurface rock formations is achieved in stages. To begin with, carbon gas generated from various sources is captured using carbon sequestration technology and transported to the intended storage sites. The CO2 is then pumped into underground rock cavities, where it can be held safely for years or even permanently, if injected into cap rock formations. Typically, geologic formations selected for CO2 pumping are usually at depths of at least 800 meters (approximately 2600 feet).
The Role of CO2 Pipelines in Transportation
CO2 pipelines are a huge part of CO2 pumping and transportation. It’s a safe and efficient process. However, it’s important to note that we currently only have about 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines in the US, and the estimate is that more than 25,000 miles will be needed by 2030 to meet the CO2 injection goals. That’s, of course, a lot of pumps.
How Do CO2 Injection Pumps Help Achieve ESG Goals?
Climate change problems remain a crucial topic of discourse worldwide, with most industrialized countries joining the fight to combat the adverse environmental effects. Many countries and international environmental protection agencies currently have strict emission regulations and mandate that industrial manufacturers adhere to them.
If emission-cutting strategies such as CO2 injection are correctly implemented, industries that generate this gas will be able to run cleaner production processes that benefit their immediate environment and help to reduce the burden of global warming. Therefore, from an environmental and socio-economic point of view, investments in CO2 pumping are the smart choice.
CO2 Injection & Transportation Concerns
Despite being immensely beneficial to ESG goals, the process of CO2 injection and transportation is not without its significant risks. Like any other industrial process, there are potential hazards that must be carefully considered when integrating a CO2 pump.
Geologic formations are not perfectly sealed off cavities, and a major concern when pumping carbon gases into them is the possibility of leaks occurring along fault lines. If leaks occur, underground drinking water sources can become contaminated, posing a health hazard for people in the area. Also, the injected CO2 might escape through rock faults and seep back to the surface, negating the entire process.
Lastly, the nature of the rock formation might make CO2 pumping more dangerous than initially anticipated. Some rock types are more brittle than others and will shatter rather than absorb the gas being injected, leading to earthquakes and ground tremors. While the incidences of earthquakes following injection processes are not the norm, they remain a significant risk that must always be carefully considered.
Meet Your ESG Goals with PumpWorks CO2 Injection Pumps
At PumpWorks, complex fluid handling applications are in our DNA. Consult your PumpWorks specialist today about optimizing your CO2 transportation and sequestration processes, and help meet your ESG goals.