BGS has been involved in investigations to test the behaviour of carbon dioxide (CO2) under a range of temperatures and pressures using a state-of-the-art flow rig. The experiments are designed to simulate the behaviour of CO2 stored long-term in deep underground reservoirs.
With increasing pressure on government and industry to reduce emissions of CO2 on a major scale, the sequestration of CO2 in the subsurface is under scrutiny as a potential emerging technology. For geological storage of CO2 to become a viable aide to the reduction of man-made emissions, the long-term surety of underground storage must first be investigated and any concerns addressed.
A typical carbon sequestration scenario involves the injection of CO2 into a porous, permeable, reservoir rock which is overlain by a laterally-continuous caprock, or seal, of low permeability. This seal, formed for example by folding or faulting, acts as a structural trap. A combination of physical and chemical mechanisms can then sequester the CO2 within the reservoir. Mechanisms include dissolution into pore fluid, adsorption to mineral surfaces or precipitation as new minerals.
Assessing both the short-term capability of the seal and its long-term durability are both of major importance in establishing performance for carbon storage.
BGS is currently involved in research to:
Please contact Dr Jon Harrington for further information