Power Generation, Transmission, and Use

Markets, Regulation, and Oversight

Impacts of Power Generation and Transmission

Looking Ahead


CEIR Report Map


Maryland Power Plants and the Environment (CEIR-18)

5.3.2 Transporting CO2

Typically, once CO2 is captured, it must be highly pressurized and transported using one of several methods, including pipelines, trucks, and shipping vessels. The inherent limitations of trucking and shipping transport methods are volume constraints and intermittency, although they may demonstrate cost benefits over the construction of a CO2 pipeline for small-scale applications.

To implement carbon capture on the scale necessary to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, the transportation of CO2 from industrial sources to beneficial use or storage sites via pipeline networks must be greatly expanded beyond current capacities. The U.S. has a history of transporting CO2 via pipelines that spans roughly 40 years due to the use of CO2 in enhanced oil recovery projects. Around 50 million metric tons of CO2 is transported in the U.S. each year through approximately 4,500 miles of pipelines, with approximately 75-80 percent of the CO2 in these pipelines derived from natural (geologic) sources (Figure 5-8). If currently planned CO2 capture facilities and pipelines are built, the portion of CO2 from industrial sources could come close to matching natural sources by 2020.

Figure 5-8 Existing CO2 Pipeline Network in North America

While the transportation infrastructure for CO2 is growing in certain regions of the country, there are no CO2 pipelines in the Eastern U.S. Maryland has, however, an extensive network of natural gas pipelines (see Figure 2-3) that are concentrated in the central portion of the state, where the majority of Maryland’s power plants and other large CO2 emission sources are located. A conceptual CO2 pipeline routing study was undertaken for PPRP by the Western Maryland Regional GIS Center at Frostburg State University which demonstrated potential locations of CO2 pipelines that could directly connect large CO2 sources with a backbone pipeline that would extend to potential geologic storage formations in Western Maryland or Southern Maryland. In addition to the point-to-point connections, the natural gas pipelines may offer opportunities for co-location to minimize the amount of new rights-of-way that must be obtained. Ultimately, the construction of CO2 pipelines, which are physically similar to natural gas pipelines, is technically feasible in the state.