The CSIRO has released a report on carbon capture technology following a four year $21 million research program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Australian coal-fired power stations funded through the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and a grant from the Department of Resource, Energy and Tourism.

The report confirms that post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technology operates effectively under Australian conditions and is now technically available to the industry as the first stage in the carbon dioxide capture and storage chain.

Post-combustion carbon dioxide capture test were carried out at the Munmorah power station in New South Wales and the Tarong power station in Queensland. The results showed that the the technology was able to capture more than 85% of the carbon dioxide, along with other gases such as sulphur dioxide, from the power station flue gases.

However, the costs from additional capital investment and loss of efficiency at the power station would result in a 30% loss in power station efficiency.

The study did not cover the further difficulties or cost of storing the captured CO2 or of transporting it to the storage site.