Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon dioxide storage
Experience gained extracting fossil fuels is being directly applied to storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in deep underground reservoirs.
30 September 2010 | Updated 1 August 2012
Greenhouse gas emission and climate change
Global warming, largely caused by increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is a modern challenge.
While various actions can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the size of the problem is so large that a mix of approaches is necessary.
increased levels of efficiency
increased use of renewables
the capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2)
social behaviour changes.
Carbon dioxide geological storage
About half Australia's CO2 emissions come from stationary sources, mainly coal-fired power stations. CSIRO has established a post-combustion capture (PCC) research program to develop technologies to capture emissions from Australian brown and black coal power stations. These emissions could be stored deep underground in the pore spaces of rock formations for many thousands of years.
About half Australia's CO2 emissions come from stationary sources, mainly coal-fired power stations.
The types of geological rock formations being considered to store carbon dioxide are typically deeper than one kilometre underground and are similar to those in which naturally occurring CO2 accumulations, as well as oil and gas are sometimes found.
Consequently, the knowledge and technologies that have been applied for decades in the petroleum industry can be applied to underground carbon dioxide storage.
In the conditions normally planned for geological storage of CO2, the CO2 exists in a supercritical fluid state. This means the density is like a liquid but the viscosity is like a gas. At a higher density, more CO2 can be stored in a given volume of rock.
Research and development
CSIRO is conducting research and development to develop safe and economical technologies for the geological storage of CO2.
CSIRO is active in these projects:
developing and using computer models to predict the fate of injected CO2
devising and applying methods to monitor the injected CO2 to ensure it remains safe and secure
examining movement of groundwater in the vicinity of potential storage sites
investigating storage in deep unminable coal seams as an alternative geological target
adapting and developing atmospheric technologies to determine whether CO2 is leaking from stored locations underground.
CSIRO is a core research participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). CSIRO also collaborates with government, researchers at national and international universities and research organisations, and has strong links with industry.
CSIRO performs research in both CO2 capture and storage. This section describes CSIRO's work in CO2 storage.
For information on our carbon capture research, read about:
| || |
Scientists are developing and trialling carbon-capture technology used to capture the carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power stations.