Understanding CCS

Understanding carbon capture and storage

The climate change challenge

Research has shown that the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere has increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial era. Unless we do something to reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, the world will continue to experience the effects of climate change.

What is CCS?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), sometimes called carbon capture and sequestration, prevents large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The technology involves capturing CO2 produced by large industrial plants, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep into a rock formation at a carefully selected and safe site, where it is permanently stored.

How CCS works

CCS involves three major steps:

  • Capture
    The separation of CO2 from other gases produced at large industrial process facilities such as coal and natural gas power plants, oil and gas plants, steel mills and cement plants.
  • Transport
    Once separated, the CO2 is compressed and transported via pipelines, trucks, ships or other methods to a suitable site for geological storage.
  • Storage
    CO2 is injected into deep underground rock formations, often at depths of one kilometre or more. 

CCS around the world

CCS is recognised as a key technology in reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the world. We track the progress of large-scale CCS projects, also monitoring smaller, notable projects. Access our full project listing and links to project websites where available. In addition, we build, maintain, analyse and provide a comprehensive view of the developing pipeline of demonstration projects, their progress and barriers. For more information on CCS around the world, refer to the Global Status of CCS


The Institute’s factsheets on the various aspects of CCS are easy to follow and can be used for educating the broader community about the technology.

The Institute has developed easy-to-understand images of the processes involved in carbon capture and storage. The images can be used in static or animated formats. We encourage you to download these images and use them whenever and wherever appropriate.

In collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Institute has developed a CCS education module as part of the CSIRO’s CarbonKids program.

In March 2017, the International CCS Knowledge Centre in Regina and the Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote greater collaboration between the two organisations to support the global deployment of CCS technology. The Knowledge Centre is mandated to accelerate the development and deployment of low-emissions technologies by enhancing global access to the data, information and lessons learned from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam facility that is the first power project to successfully integrate carbon capture, transport and storage. You can find further information about the Knowledge Centre and other resources on their website.

Insights into CCS

The Institute has a vast global network of CCS practitioners who share their experiences and insights through a variety of Institute-supported knowledge networks and blogs. For example: