Modeling Ecological Constraints on a CO2 Pipeline Network

This journal article expands the open-source carbon capture, utilization, and storage model SimCCS to account for the environmental and social impacts of carbon dioxide pipeline siting.

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Oct. 19, 2023


Jhih-Shyang Shih, Bailian Chen, Alexandra Thompson, Alan Krupnick, Daniel Livingston, Richard Pratt, and Rajesh Pawar


Journal Article in Environmental Science and Technology

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1 minute


Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) are a critical set of strategies to decarbonize the industrial and power sectors and to mitigate global climate change. Pipeline infrastructure connecting CO2 sources and sinks, if not planned strategically, can cause environmental and social impacts by disturbing local landscapes. We investigated the impacts of these considerations on optimal CO2 pipeline routing and sink locations by modifying and leveraging an open-source CCUS infrastructure model, SimCCS. We expanded SimCCS from a cost-minimizing to a multiobjective framework, explicitly incorporating environmental protection objectives. We estimated trade-offs between private costs and environmental and social impacts. Using a version of the model focused on the southeastern United States, we modeled seven scenarios with varying weights given to environmental impacts to evaluate how the pipeline network responds to the multiobjective optimization. We found that the optimal path is sensitive to environmental and social impact considerations in that a small increase in pipeline length (and cost) significantly avoids large environmental and social impacts. We hope such a tool can be used to improve the pipeline permitting and siting processes and contribute to the achievement of decarbonization goals with minimal environmental impacts.


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