CO2 transport

Once captured, CO2 is compressed to reduce its volume and facilitate transportation. It is then transported, generally by pipeline, to the geological storage site.

Transporting CO2 by pipeline, or even by ships as is currently done for natural gas, is neither problematic nor a new technique. For example, more than 50 million tonnes of CO2 are moved each year in the United States through a network of about 5,800 km of pipeline that has been set up since 1970.

Pipeline for transporting CO2 at the CO2CRC Otway project site in Australia.
Photo taken by Michel Malo, 2009.

In terms of risk, there is nothing that would warrant using a different approach for transporting CO2 in lieu of the existing methods used for natural gas. The real challenge for this step of the CCS process is to set up a network of pipelines that could ship CO2 from the industrial capture sites to the geological storage sites. This type of network should be constructed in a way that ensures both human and environmental safety.

Next step: the geological storage of CO2.