New research has increased confidence in the potential for capturing and storing carbon dioxide, according to SCCS. It says a study published in Nature Communications shows that captured carbon dioxide can be stored safely for thousands of years.
In the study, researchers from SCCS’s partner institutes, the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, compiled a worldwide database of information from natural carbon dioxide and methane accumulations and hydrocarbon industry experience, including engineered gas storage, decades of borehole injection and laboratory experiments.
Computer simulations were used to combine all these factors and model storage of carbon dioxide for 10,000 years into the future. SCCS said previous research in this area had not fully accounted for the natural trapping of carbon dioxide in rock as microscopic bubbles, or the dissolving of carbon dioxide into the salty water already in the rocks.
Dr Stephanie Flude, who co-led the work at the University of Edinburgh said: “We selected the model inputs to be conservative but realistic. Importantly, our computer simulations, based on good-regulation practices, such as those used currently in the North Sea, retained more than 90% of the injected carbon dioxide after 10,000 years in 95% of the cases. The most probable outcome being at least 98% retention.”