CCS research by the Gas Monitoring Facility

Measurement of soil gas, flux and botanical observations at In Salah, Algeria.

Mobile open path laser measurements of CO2 and methane at Weyburn, Canada.

Continuous measurement of CO2 flux by eddy covariance (on tripod) and multiple accumulation chambers at the CO2 field laboratory site, Norway.

Led by Helen Taylor-Curranas part of the Gas Monitoring Facility.

The Gas Monitoring Facility collaborates with other fluid processes researchers such as Simon Gregory in the Geomicrobiology Laboratory, Keith Bateman in the Hydrothermal Laboratory, Chris Rochelle in the Hydrates and Ices Laboratory and Caroline Graham in the Transport Properties Research Laboratory.

The areas of CCS that this laboratory are working on are outlined below.

Near surface monitoring

Legislation requires us to demonstrate that there is no CO2 leakage from a storage site.

The Gas Monitoring Facility uses specialist equipment to detect and monitor CO2 gas as well as other gases at the surface, close to natural CO2 seepage sites as well as artificial CO2 storage sites. If we can show that the gas is not escaping from the storage site, this will be valuable for public reassurance.

The processes include studying the movement of dissolved and free gas in the shallow subsurface and the role of fractures and faults as pathways for gas migration.

We worked at the CO2 field laboratory in Norway. This laboratory tested monitoring methods through a shallow (at 20 m depth) CO2 injection experiment. The project also involved specialists investigating the other shallow geophysical and geochemical monitoring techniques.

Also in this area of study was the CO2REMOVE project where we worked on the development and testing of monitoring techniques at sites of natural CO2 seepage in Italy and Germany, and on large scale CCS projects at Weyburn in Canada and In Salah in Algeria.

Environmental impacts of CO2 leakage

Storage sites are not supposed to leak and it is unlikely that they will but it is necessary to have detection and monitoring techniques in place in case this should this occur. It is also important to understand the possible environmental impacts of leakage. This will aid site selection and characterisation, mitigation and remediation. The processes include studying the movement of dissolved and free gas in the shallow subsurface and at surface and the impacts on the soil, flora and fauna.

Projects include Research into Impacts & Safety in CO2 Storage (RISCS), looking at the potential impacts of leakage on groundwater and on near surface ecosystems (onshore and offshore).