China to Store CO2 Underground

China is taking a step towards cleaner energy production in a joint demonstration project which will store two thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide underground.

Partnered between CSIRO Australia and China United Coalbed Methane Corporation Limited (CUCBM) the project will look to bury two thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide underground in the Shanxi Province and extract methane for use as an energy source.

The project will focus on advancing enhanced coal bed methane (ECBM) recovery, which involves injecting carbon dioxide into coal seams to displace methane which can then be harvested and used to generate energy.

On top of that is the added bonus of storing carbon dioxide where it won’t enter the atmosphere. The project will look to maximise carbon dioxide injection and methane extraction.

“ECBM wells are typically drilled vertically to inject CO2 into coal seams but this demonstration project will drill horizontally meaning the entry point of the well is more directly embedded in the coal seam, which we predict will increase the flow rate of CO2 for underground storage,” said Director of CSIRO’s Advanced Coal Technology research, Dr John Carras.

“CUCBM’s expertise in drilling practices and methane extraction will combine with CSIRO’s capabilities in coal characterisation, reservoir modelling, carbon dioxide monitoring and storage assurance to develop techniques that maximise both CO2 storage and methane recovery rates.”

For a country like China, which is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and, subsequently, fastest growing carbon dioxide emitters, projects like this are invaluable. Addressing the issue of how to create energy for so many people while keeping it clean is one of CSIRO’s goals which are mimicked in CSIRO’s existing collaborations with China.

CSIRO supported the launch of a post combustion capture (PCC) pilot plant in Beijing, the first of its kind in China. Work has also begun on a second transportable PCC pilot plant that is designed to capture 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Source: CSIRO (Australia)

Image Source: Wolfiewolf via Flickr

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