Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contributor to global climate change. Scientists are conducting large-scale experiments to enhance the reliability and safety of injecting CO2 from fossil fuel combustion deep into the ground to reduce atmospheric CO2.
Reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide
Two thirds of CO2 emissions are associated with energy production from fossil fuels. Although many advances have been made towards exploiting renewable energy resources, a transition away from combustion of fossil fuels will take time. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the most promising ways to reduce substantially release of CO2 into the atmosphere in the short and midterms, capable of reverting or stopping the greenhouse gas effect.

In CCS, carbon is captured via gas separation processes, transported by ship or pipeline to a storage site and then injected into deep geological formations. EU-funded scientists are moving technology up a notch on the readiness scale with large-scale testing of injection supported by EU funding of the TRUST project.

CO2 injection has been exploited for years in the context of enhanced oil recovery where it increases oil mobility and enhances the release of oil trapped in the reservoir to production wells. Many of the reservoirs have safely stored CO2 on long timescales. TRUST is utilising four CO2 injection tests at scales large enough for results to be extrapolated to industrial conditions. The goal is to enhance the safety and reliability of long-term containment while decreasing the cost.

A number of partners are working on enhancing the energy efficiency of storage. The measurement and monitoring technologies will maximise safety and minimise risk. One injection well and one monitoring well are already drilled and heavily instrumented for allowing stated of the art monitoring. A third well implement novel monitoring technologies and completion approach (“behind the casing”) will be drilled. Comprehensive data sets from the test sites are being used to improve the predictive capacity and performance of computational models and simulations.

TRUST is also addressing critical non-scientific issues of public acceptance, community participation, licensing and regulation. A risk management platform has been developed for interfacing with regulatory authorities. The project is developing a working table-top model, sort of the dynamic version of an architectural mock-up, to demonstrate the CCS process. Partners have already conducted a training course on CO2 storage and a workshop on the basic CO2 storage of a powerful massively parallel simulator.

Global climate change is among the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. Enhancing widespread adoption of safe and reliable CCS technology will have tremendous impact on the future of our planet.

Related information

Keywords

Carbon dioxide, CO2, carbon capture and storage, injection tests
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