Burying Air Pollution

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The Columbus-based Battelle Memorial Institute has just received over 61 million dollars for a test project that takes the noxious output of power plants, steel mills and cement plants, and injects it in the ground.

Battelle Project Manager David Ball says there are a number of ways CO2 can be sequestered underground, but the biggest potential is found in what are called deep saline formations --- typically sandstone, a very porous rock that can soak up the offending gases like a sponge. Ball says there's enough capacity in Ohio and the eight surrounding states to do this for a century.

BALL: So, it's quite vast. And that's one of the reasons that scientists in general that deal with climate change, think that this deep geologic storage is an important and doable technology.

But, a number of environmentalists argue there's still a need to develop alternative energy sources so that, some day, this sort of carbon capture won't even be necessary.

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