Carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) or geosequestration is the capturing of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes and storing it securely in rocks deep underground. It's similar to the way oil and gas have been naturally stored for millions of years.

CCS is the only technology presently capable of decarbonising many large-scale industrial processes.

Diagram showing carbon capture and storage.

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CCS is being developed in Australia and around the world. It has a critical role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, according to international authorities such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency.

CCS could deliver 13 per cent of year-on-year emissions reductions needed to limit global temperature increases to 2°C by 2050.

CCS does not replace the need to increase energy efficiency or develop renewable energy technologies.

It is part of a portfolio approach to addressing the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

CCS has four main stages:

  1. Capturing the CO2 from industrial processes
  2. Compressing it into a liquid form
  3. Transporting it via a pipeline to a suitable geological storage site
  4. Injecting the CO2 for permanent storage (geosequestration).

The short answer is yes.

Carbon dioxide is an inert gas that exists naturally in the atmosphere (humans and other animals breathe it out).

It's absorbed in water (vast amounts of CO2 are absorbed in the oceans) as well as plants and trees which creates oxygen via photosynthesis.

CO2 forms the bubbles in our carbonated drinks and creates the bubbles at natural spa baths in Victoria and worldwide.

In Australia, CCS projects must comply with relevant laws and strict regulatory requirements that include the long-term monitoring of the sequestered CO2.

CCS involves storing CO2 at depths of greater than 800 metres, securely trapped in geological storage formations.

More information

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Page last updated: 08 Jul 2019