A systematic review of key challenges of CO2 transport via pipelines

V.E. Onyebuchi, A. Kolios, D.P. Hanak, C. Biliyok, V. Manovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
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Transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) via pipeline from the point of capture to a geologically suitable location for either sequestration or enhanced hydrocarbon recovery is a vital aspect of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain. This means of CO2 transport has a number of advantages over other means of CO2 transport, such as truck, rail, and ship. Pipelines ensure continuous transport of CO2 from the capture point to the storage site, which is essential to transport the amount of CO2 captured from the source facilities, such as fossil fuel power plants, operating in a continuous manner. Furthermore, using pipelines is regarded as more economical than other means of CO2 transport The greatest challenges of CO2 transport via pipelines are related to integrity, flow assurance, capital and operating costs, and health, safety and environmental factors. Deployment of CCS pipeline projects is based either on point-to-point transport, in which case a specific source matches a specific storage point, or through the development of pipeline networks with a backbone CO2 pipeline. In the latter case, the CO2 streams, which are characterised by a varying impurity level and handled by the individual operators, are linked to the backbone CO2 pipeline for further compression and transport. This may pose some additional challenges. This review involves a systematic evaluation of various challenges that delay the deployment of CO2 pipeline transport and is based on an extensive survey of the literature. It is aimed at confidence-building in the technology and improving economics in the long run. Moreover, the knowledge gaps were identified, including lack of analyses on a holistic assessment of component impurities, corrosion consideration at the conceptual stage, the effect of elevation on CO2 dense phase characteristics, permissible water levels in liquefied CO2, and commercial risks associated with project abandonment or cancellation resulting from high project capital and operating costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2563-2583
Number of pages21
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue numberPart 2
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018


  • carbon capture and transport
  • corrosion
  • elevation
  • impurities
  • pipelines
  • risks


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