I’ve been waiting for something like this for years! A company called Blue Source has a potentially commercially viable carbon capture business model that involves the captured CO2 actually being useful:
Blue Source is piping industrial carbon dioxide from a natural-gas processing plant in southeastern Colorado to an undisclosed oil producer that will, in turn, pump it into an aging oil field. The result should be increased crude production and a carbon-dioxide emissions reduction equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road.
Blue Source’s project is innovative not technically–the company employs off-the-shelf technology–but financially: it is among the first whose business plan hinges on the sale of both the captured carbon dioxide and carbon offsets, a financial derivative generated from the emissions reduction.
I hope this works; it’s precisely the not-sexy-but-clever type of innovation that I think will be an effective tool for carbon management, particularly in the face of all of the uncertainty we currently have about most aspects of carbon’s effects, anthropogenic vs. non-human, and carbon policy.