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Grasping for Ways to Capture Carbon Dioxide on the Cheap


Last week, the new U.S. secretary of energy, Ernest Moniz, pledged to continue his predecessor’s work in making the Department of Energy a “center of innovation,” while also highlighting projects he thought deserved more attention. Near the top of his list is a renewed emphasis on carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), a technology that could prove vital to combating climate change, but is developing far too slowly, according to the International Energy Agency.

Moniz will face the challenge of moving forward with CCS in a time of tight budgets, in contrast to the fat years enjoyed by former secretary Steven Chu as a result of the tens of billions of dollars allocated to the agency via the Recovery Act of 2009. Despite that challenge, CCS is considered so important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that technologists are looking for cheaper ways to develop it.

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