Corporate Responsibility

Carbon capture and storage (CSS)

Carbon capture and storage - also known as CSS - has gained popularity in recent years as organizations race to lower their carbon footprint and present themselves as a viable, environmentally conscious entity. But what is CSS, and how does it work? Learn more with Minimum. 

What is carbon capture?

Carbon capture and storage - often abbreviated as CCS -  traps harmful emissions from industrial processes and power generation before they enter the atmosphere, and securely stores them underground. 

As regulations and legislation around carbon emissions have become increasingly stringent, carbon capture and storage has become an integral component of carbon mitigation strategies. Not only can the CO2 be removed from the atmosphere, the captured  CO2 can be stored or further utilized in various ways, helping to reduce its environmental impact.


CCS encompasses a range of techniques to capture carbon dioxide emissions and safely store them. These methods are pivotal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change:


Post-combustion CCS methods are used to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the exhaust gasses of industrial facilities after the combustion of fossil fuels, particularly power plants and other energy-intensive processes. 

Various techniques are employed to selectively capture and separate the CO2 from the flue gas stream, such as:

  • Chemical solvents 
  • Adsorption
  • Membrane separation 

Once captured, the CO2 can be compressed and transported to suitable storage sites, often deep underground, where it is securely stored to prevent its release into the atmosphere. 


Pre-combustion CCS methods are designed to capture carbon dioxide (C02) emissions before the combustion of fossil fuels. Pre-combustion CCS methods include:

  • Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
  • Pre-combustion carbon capture in natural gas plants
  • Chemical absorption
  • Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) and membrane separation
  • Oxygen-blown gasification

Pre-combustion CCS methods are essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the environmental sustainability of energy production and industrial processes. 

Oxy-fuel combustion

Oxy-fuel combustion is a combustion technology that uses oxygen (O2) instead of air to burn fossil fuels, offering major potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industries and power generation. In this process:

  • Fuel Combustion: Fossil fuels are burned in an environment where the oxygen concentration is significantly higher than in regular air. By using oxygen the concentration of nitrogen, a major component of air, is reduced in the combustion process.

  • CO2 Concentration: Oxy-fuel combustion results in a flue gas with a much higher concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) than traditional air combustion. This concentrated CO2 stream is easier to capture for carbon capture and storage (CCS) purposes.

  • Easier CO2 Capture: The high concentration of CO2 in the flue gas makes it more cost-effective and energy-efficient to capture and separate CO2 for storage or utilization, such as enhanced oil recovery or industrial processes.

Oxy-fuel combustion is considered a promising technology for CCS, as it simplifies the carbon capture process by providing a CO2-rich flue gas stream.

How does CCS work?

Alongside capturing the emissions generated from industrial sources and power plants, CCS further transports harmful emissions to secure storage sites, usually deep underground, where they are stored to prevent their release into the environment. Ths further defines CCS as an important step towards a transition to more sustainable energy systems.


Carbon capture involves trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from sources like industrial facilities, power plants, or the atmosphere. This is typically achieved using various technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon capture and utilization (CCU).


Once captured, the CO2 is transported to a suitable storage site. This typically involves compressing the CO2 into a dense, supercritical state to make transportation more efficient. Pipelines or other transportation methods are used to move the CO2 to its storage location.


Following capture and transportation,  CO2 is securely stored deep underground in geological formations such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers. The CO2 is injected into these formations and sealed to prevent its release into the atmosphere.

What are the benefits of carbon capture?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) offers several benefits for mitigating climate change and addressing environmental challenges:

  • CCS prevents significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere, effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • CCS allows the continued use of fossil fuels for energy production and industrial processes while minimizing their environmental impact, providing a bridge to a cleaner energy future.
    Maintaining access to fossil fuel resources with CCS can help stabilize energy prices and reduce energy security risks
  •  CCS can complement renewable energy sources, providing backup power and enabling greater integration of intermittent renewables
  • Trapped and stored CO2 can be used in various applications, further supporting carbon neutrality efforts by making use of captured emissions in the production of materials, fuels, or for enhanced oil recovery.

How Minimum can help

Minimum can help organizations to understand their existing carbon output, and create plans to mitigate climate related risks in the future.  Our Emissions Data Platform seamlessly collects and processes emissions data from every corner of your organization and supply chain - no matter the format. Making it the ideal platform for emissions audits and all-round business intelligence. 

Learn more about how Minimum's Emission Data Platform can help to power you all the way to Net Zero today.

FAQs about carbon capture

What’s the difference between CCS and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)?

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) share the common goal of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions but differ in how they handle the captured CO2. 

Unlike CCS, CCUS also includes utilization, which involves finding productive uses for the captured CO2 before or in addition to storage.It’s also worth noting that the primary objective of CCS is the reduction of CO2 emissions, whereas CCUS aims to also create value from the captured CO2.

Is storing carbon safe?

Storing carbon can be safe when implemented correctly and following established safety protocols. Some safety  points that are taken into consideration include careful site selection, proper engineering and construction of wells and injection facilities and ongoing monitoring and verification.

Is it the same as carbon sequestration?

Carbon sequestration is a broader term that includes the storage of carbon in various forms, while carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a specific subset of carbon sequestration that focuses on the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.