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Water sampling technique paves way for safe storage of carbon dioxide

Date:
July 12, 2016
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have devised a way to test carbon capture and storage, by sampling water at storage sites for an altered form of oxygen. In the first experiment of its kind, researchers studied the different forms of oxygen in waters sampled from rocks deep below ground at the storage site in the Otway Basin, in south eastern Australia.
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Scientists have found an inexpensive way to monitor the storage of the most common greenhouse gas - carbon dioxide - deep underground.

Successful trials of their method at a site in Australia will inform the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, in which CO2 from power stations and industrial sources is held deep underground, to prevent emissions from contributing to climate change.

In the first experiment of its kind, researchers studied the different forms of oxygen in waters sampled from rocks deep below ground at the storage site in the Otway Basin, in south eastern Australia.

They found that the reservoir's waters changed their oxygen composition when in contact with bubbles of trapped CO2. Testing samples of water for this altered form of oxygen provides a simple way to measure the amount of CO2 stored within the rock.

The study shows that injected CO2 is very quickly retained in the underground rocks, with CO2 being locked away like air being trapped within a foam sponge. The research was carried out by the Universities of Edinburgh and Australian research organisation CO2CRC.

Researchers say their technique provides an inexpensive monitoring solution, as they need only measure only CO2 injected into a site and water samples from before and after injection to find out how much CO2 is trapped.

The study, published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, was supported by the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre and CO2CRC.

Dr Sascha Serno, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: "Our results highlight the promising potential of using oxygen compositions to monitor the fate of CO2 injected underground. This method is simple and cheap, and can be easily combined with other monitoring techniques for CCS projects in the UK and beyond."

Dr Stuart Gilfillan, also of the School of GeoSciences, the study co-ordinator, said: "Understanding the fate of CO2 injected into the underground for storage is essential for engineering secure CO2 stores. Our work with our Australian partners paves the way for better understanding of the fate of CO2 when we inject it underground."


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Materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sascha Serno, Gareth Johnson, Tara C. LaForce, Jonathan Ennis-King, Ralf R. Haese, Christopher J. Boreham, Lincoln Paterson, Barry M. Freifeld, Paul J. Cook, Dirk Kirste, R. Stuart Haszeldine, Stuart M.V. Gilfillan. Using oxygen isotopes to quantitatively assess residual CO2 saturation during the CO2CRC Otway Stage 2B Extension residual saturation test. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2016; 52: 73 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2016.06.019

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Water sampling technique paves way for safe storage of carbon dioxide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712110432.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2016, July 12). Water sampling technique paves way for safe storage of carbon dioxide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712110432.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Water sampling technique paves way for safe storage of carbon dioxide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160712110432.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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