Carbon capture and storage research features on world stage

21 November 2012

Monitoring equipment at the joint Geoscience Australia-CO2CRC greenhouse gas controlled released facility in Canberra.

Monitoring equipment at the joint
Geoscience Australia-CO2CRC
greenhouse gas controlled released
facility in Canberra.
© Geoscience Australia

Australian researchers are presenting the latest findings of research into carbon capture and storage (CCS) at the leading international Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference being held in Japan this week.

Geoscience Australia researchers are presenting on a number of topics including:

  • The development of CO2 monitoring techniques;
  • the acquisition of CO2 baseline atmospheric data; and
  • pre-competitive data acquisition and geological characterisation of offshore sedimentary basins, including development of methodology for estimating CO2 storage capacity.

Geological storage of greenhouse gases is one approach the Australian Government is pursuing to assist Australia, and the world, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Understanding the geology of Australia's sedimentary basins and their potential for greenhouse gas storage is an important component of Geoscience Australia's work in supporting emission reductions.

"One key component of our CCS research program is focussed on predicting processes and conditions of CO2 storage in geological formations," explained geochemist Dr Ralf Haese.

"We are working in partnership with the CO2CRC and a range of other partners to undertake experimental and modelling studies assessing fluid-rock interactions and rock mechanical behaviour under different CO2 storage conditions. This includes research investigating residual CO2 trapping, whereby CO2 is trapped by capillary forces within the pore spaces," Dr Haese said.

"This particular study was conducted at the CO2CRC Otway demonstration site in 2011, and is helping us to develop techniques to estimate CO2 trapping capacity, which is particularly important in basins lacking proven structural closure."

Geoscience Australia's CCS program is also working to develop techniques to verify the integrity of the geological storage of CO2. Recent work has been undertaken to trial CO2 emission monitoring and modelling techniques to quantify CO2 emission rates from a controlled CO2 release experiment; as well as development of techniques to establish baseline atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases.

In addition, preliminary assessments on geological potential for CO2 storage are currently being undertaken in the Vlaming Sub-basin (offshore Western Australia), the Bonaparte Basin (offshore Northern Territory) and the Gippsland Basin (offshore Victoria). This work is specifically designed to provide data to encourage exploration of offshore sites for the geological storage of CO2.

For more information on this topic, refer to the two recently updated factsheets that provide an overview of Geoscience Australia's CCS research program:

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013