Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Carbon capture and storage - Answer for global warming problem?

Global warming is still not slowing down, and world has to make drastic cut in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid disaster in years to come. One thing that can be powerful weapon against global warming and climate change is carbon capture and storage (CSS), especially after the latest study that showed how greenhouse gases can be safely stored under the sea for millions of years.

This study was the first real study that was not just looking at different computer models but actually looking into greenhouse gas storage, and examining how the carbon dioxide dissolved in nine gas fields in North America, China and Europe. These nine gas fields were naturally filled with carbon dioxide thousands or millions of years ago. Naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) can be trapped in two ways: carbon dioxide can dissolve in underground water or it can react with minerals in rock to form new carbonate minerals.

Dr Stuart Gilfillan, the lead researcher said: "By combining two techniques, we've been able to identify exactly where the carbon dioxide is being stored for the first time. We already know that oil and gas have been stored safely in oil and gas fields over millions of years. Our study clearly shows that the carbon dioxide has been stored naturally and safely in underground water in these fields."

These findings should be positive boost to further developments in CSS technologies because results of this study showed how greenhouse gases can be stored safely underground. Of course it will take lot of monitoring and tracing where exactly does carbon dioxide captured from coal-fired power stations go when we inject it underground before we can talk about perfect CSS safety. But CSS potential is definitely big, and with adequate developments this could be one of the major weapons in fight against climate change.

No comments:

Post a Comment