- Pipeline companies have started proposing massive CO2 pipeline mileage throughout the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions in the interest of Carbon Capture and Sequestration.
- The buildout, incentivized by the 45Q tax credit expanded in the recent bipartisan infrastructure bill, has a major problem; CO2 pipelines pose significant safety hazards and are terribly under-regulated.
- CO2 is an asphyxiant that’s heavier than air, and it can travel large distances at lethal concentrations from the pipeline after a rupture.
- CO2 pipelines are susceptible to ductile fractures, which can, like a zipper, open up and run down a significant length of the pipe, they can release immense amounts of CO2, hurl large sections of pipe, expel pipe shrapnel, and generate enormous craters.
- Water, notoriously difficult to eliminate from CO2 pipelines, allows the formation of carbonic acid in the pipeline which has a ferocious appetite for carbon steel.
- The current CO2 pipeline regulations do not sufficiently address any of the three above risks.
- The U.S. Department’s pipeline safety agency PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) regulations have terrifyingly large gaps on carbon dioxide pipelines including having no regulations if the CO2 is transported as a liquid or a gas, only as a supercritical fluid.
- PHMSA can and should impose stricter safety regulations in order to keep the public safe from future CO2pipeline plans.
Media Backgrounder on CO2 Pipelines
Regulatory and Knowledge Gap Fact Sheet
Press Release on CO2 Pipelines
- Article – The Gassing of Satartia
- Video – 8” CO2 Pipeline Test Rupture
- Report – Congressional Research Service Report on CO2 Pipeline Policy Issues 2009
- Research Paper – CO2 Pipeline Material and Safety Considerations