Friday, July 27, 2012

Carbon Capture and Storage

World-first experiment tests carbon capture and storage in Scotland

Adele Rackley

The critical stage of a world-first experiment, to monitor what might happen if CO2 leaks from an underground storage reservoir, was successfully completed under the seabed near Oban in Scotland this week.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is emerging as one of the front-runners in the search for climate-change mitigation strategies. The process involves capturing CO2 from power plants and industrial activity before it is emitted into the atmosphere and pumping it into deep sub-seabed reservoirs or geological structures for permanent storage.

Injection of CO2
The QICS experiment.
While leaks from storage sites are thought to be unlikely, all the potential risks of new technologies like CCS need to be investigated early in their development.

The project, led by Plymouth Marine Laboratory in collaboration with the Scottish Association for Marine Science and four other institutions, involved the injection of CO2 from a shore-based lab into shallow marine sediments so scientists could work out whether (and how) a leak from a CCS storage site below the seabed might affect marine life. The experiment also gave scientists a chance to assess various ways of monitoring for CO2 leakage.
The project is Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts of Geological Carbon Storage (QICS). You can see the experiment in action on YouTube and learn more about QICS on the project web pages.

Source: Planet Earth Blog, June 29, 2012

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