For more than a century, a wide stretch of land north of Kimberley, British Columbia, was used for intensive industrial hard-rock mining. The site of Teck’s Sullivan Mine hosted a steel mill, a fertilizer plant and tailings ponds and was rendered treeless.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process in which water, chemicals and sand are injected at high pressure to split apart rock thousands of feet below Earth’s surface and release oil or natural gas. And it’s a controversial practice.
There is a lot of interest in figuring out a way to store carbon dioxide produced from industrial processes and energy plants or even sucking it out of the atmosphere and then storing it. The problem is where exactly to put the stuff and how to make sure that it stays there.
One of the strategies to tackle the problem of increasing greenhouse gas emissions that are resulting in climate change is Carbon Capture and Storage or CCS, which seeks to prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere and to instead tuck it away somewhere. A longstanding approach to doing it is to store it underground in voids such as abandoned oil and gas reservoirs. There are various complications associated with this idea, not the least of which being potential leakage of the stored CO2.