RA Seminar Series | RA3

Welcome to the third seminar in the new Bolin Centre Seminar Series!
The series aims to provide an opportunity to learn about current research topics in the individual research areas of the Bolin Centre and to bring researchers together on a regular basis. We strive to trigger lively discussions and to facilitate both internal and external collaborations.

The host this time is Research Area 3: Hydrosphere, Cryosphere and Climate

"Achilles heel" of carbon capture and storage


Speaker: Prof. Sigurdur Reynir Gislason, University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences
Time: March 24 at 13h00–14h00
Place: Ahlmannsalen, Geoscience Building

Given the unprecedented increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration and its implication for global climate, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the  most promising mitigation options. It is already being demonstrated at a growing number of facilities worldwide.  However, the “Achilles heel” of CCS is its cost and safety. Much of the security risk associated with geologic carbon storage stems from its buoyancy, which can be eradicated by dissolving CO2 into water prior to or during its injection, thus allowing injection into fractured rocks [1]. We have demonstrated the dissolution of CO2 into water during its injection in less than 5 minutes and mineral storage within basalt in two years at 20–50°C at the CarbFix field injection site in SW Iceland [2, 3].

This method requires substantial water, therefore the cost of storing and transporting a tonne of CO2 via the CarbFix method is about twice that of geologic storage via “conventional supercritical” CO2 injection. However, the cost of carbon capture and storage is still dominated worldwide by capture and gas separation [1]. This cost could be lowered by capturing and injecting gas mixtures into rocks as is now being tested at the CarbFix2–Sulfix2 site in SW–Iceland at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant. Since June 2014 we have injected 8000 tonnes per year of a 60% CO2 and 40% H2S gas mixture, which is dissolved in condensation water from the turbines at 20°C and co–injected with efluent water (60–120°C) into the basaltic rock at 700m depth where the temperature is 250°C.  This injection capacity was doubled mid yer 2016. After about two and a half years of continuous operation, the transmissivity of the injection well is still stable and monitoring data suggests significant mineralisation of the injected gas mixture during this period of injection. This integrated method provides the safe and long-term storage of carbon dioxide and other acid gases at a cost that is significantly lower than the one for conventional CCS metonds [4].

[1] Gislason & Oelkers (2014), Science 344, 373–374.
[2] Sigfússon et al. (2015), International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 37, 213–219
[3] Matter et al., 2016, Science 352, 1312–1314
[4] Gunnarsson et al., 2017 (in review).

Note! The lectures will be streamed and saved on the Bolin Centre website.


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