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CO2 can be reliably stored underground: Australian researchers

Dec. 13, 2011 -

Carbon dioxide (CO2) can be safely and reliably stored underground, an Australian-led team of researchers has concluded.

The team found that depleted gas fields would be able to store globally significant amounts of CO2 - a key strategy in tackling climate change.

The scientists are based at the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) Otway Project at Nirranda South in southwestern Victoria.

"The Otway Project has confirmed that storage in depleted gas fields can be safe and effective, and that these structures could store globally significant amounts of carbon dioxide," the report's lead author, Dr Charles Jenkins of the CSIRO, said in a statement.

"The research included the world's first measurement of storage efficiency for CO2 storage, lending weight to the conclusion that depleted gas fields have enough storage capacity to make a significant contribution to reducing global CO2 emissions."

The researchers have been injecting a natural source of carbon dioxide into a depleted natural gas reservoir at the site since 2008.

Their work has involved a wide range of monitoring and verification tests to see what has happened to the CO2.

The team concluded that large-scale geological storage can be monitored to ensure safety.

They also reported no leaking of the CO2 back into the atmosphere.

The paper has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.


Updated: 2016/06/30

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