World's biggest carbon sequestration test begins in Australia

A massive carbon sequestration project has begun in Otway Basin in southern Australia. The first stage of the project is drilling a 2,100 meter deep well into a saucer-shaped sandstone reservoir. Once the well is completed, carbon dioxide will be extracted from a natural geological reservoir, and then compressed into a super-critical fluid which is a gas-liquid hybrid. The fluid will then be pumped back down into the new sandstone well. A total of 100,000 metric tonnes of CO2 will be injected into the well. The key to this pilot project will be the monitoring of the CO2 after injection.

Once the carbon dioxide has been isolated, burying it is relatively straightforward. The problem is making sure it stays buried. There are several commercial carbon burial projects in various locations around the world, which are primarily being used in oil drilling operations to push out more oil, rather than to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, leakage hasn't been a primary concern. If carbon burial is to be used for carbon emissions reductions, it needs to stay buried.

[Source: New Scientist via TreeHugger]

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