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Ever wonder how carbon capture works? This <a href="node/1524606/">infographic</a> breaks it down. | Graphic by Carly Wilkins, Energy Department.

Ever wonder how carbon capture works? This infographic breaks it down. | Graphic by Carly Wilkins, Energy Department.

Fossil energy sources, including oil, coal and natural gas, are non-renewable resources that formed when prehistoric plants and animals died and were gradually buried by layers of rock. Over millions of years, different types of fossil fuels formed -- depending on what combination of organic matter was present, how long it was buried and what temperature and pressure conditions existed as time passed.

Today, fossil fuel industries drill or mine for these energy sources, burn them to produce electricity, or refine them for use as fuel for heating or transportation. Over the past 20 years, nearly three-fourths of human-caused emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Energy Department maintains emergency petroleum reserves, ensures responsible development of America’s oil and gas resources and executes natural gas regulatory responsibilities. In addition, scientists at the Energy Department’s National Labs are developing technologies to reduce carbon emissions and ensure fossil energy sources play a role in America’s clean energy future.


Texas CO2 Capture Demonstration Project Hits Three Million Metric Ton Milestone
Project uses captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery process shown above

On June 30, Allentown, PA-based Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. successfully captured and transported, via pipeline, its 3 millionth metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) to be used for enhanced oil recovery. This achievement highlights the ongoing success of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

U.S.-China EcoPartnership to Make Coal Power Plants Cleaner

The U.S. and China announced six new EcoPartnerships during the recent U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, China. Among the new partnerships is a collaboration between Alabama-based Chemical and Metal Technologies (CMT) and China’s CPI Yuanda Environmental Protection Engineering Company. CPI Yuanda is a subsidiary of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), one of China’s largest generating power companies.

Petra Nova Project Breaks Ground on World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Project
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman (sixth from left) joins in the groundbreaking of the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility | Photo courtesy of the Energy Department.

The Houston-area Petra Nova project is designed to capture 1.4 million tons of CO2 per year -- making it the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility.

U.S. Domestic Oil Production Exceeds Imports for First Time in 18 Years
<div class="field field-name-field-map-byline field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div  class="field-item odd">Source: Energy Information Administration Short Term Energy Outlook. Chart by <a href="">Daniel Wood</a>.</div></div></div>

For the first time since 1995, U.S. domestic oil production exceeded foreign imports in October.

A Potential Path to Emissions-Free Fossil Energy
The National Energy Technology Laboratory's chemical looping reactor, above, is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and is pioneering the development of a promising low-carbon technology. | Photo courtesy of the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Emerging low-carbon technologies, like "chemical looping," are forging new pathways for using fossil fuels as part of a clean energy future.