Sequestration could turn the North Sea into Perrier
As anyone knows, after all, the CO2 in fizzy water is actually very prone indeed to getting out and escaping into the atmosphere. It would perhaps have been a better day for the idea of carbon capture if the stuff was being primarily stored as minerals.
In a commentary on the study, also published in the current Nature, Werner Aeschbach-Hertig of Heidelberg Uni takes that view, saying that the mineral carbonates are stable and offer the prospect of reliable storage over geological time scales - as opposed to fizzy water which often bubbles up to release its gas into the atmosphere, as for example in geysers, spas, French mineral-water sources etc. Lots of CO2 also comes out of wells and boreholes.
"Dissolution in groundwater implies the possibility of CO2 transport and eventual leakage to the atmosphere", cautions the German prof. In the case of Blighty, presumably stuffing our carbon into old offshore gas fields, we might start seeing the North Sea turning a bit bubbly.
Mineral carbonate as the primary mechanism might also have a downside, of course: many boffins think it would seriously limit the amount of carbon you could shove down an old gas well, as the formerly porous rocks through which the gas freely flowed would swiftly clog up with solid carbonate. But at least there'd be no real chance of the carbon simply popping up again somewhere else in the form of a spontaneous sea-bottom Perrier fountain.
Dr Gilfillan is naturally confident that carbon storage has a bright future, and reasonably points out that if an old gas field could hold onto its gas for thousands of years, it's reasonable to think it might hold onto fizzy water too.
The British government passionately wants this to be true, so as to start getting Blighty off its huge and swelling gas habit before the North Sea is totally played out, and to get the nation somewhere within striking distance of its promised carbon-cut figures. The projected scope for new British renewables and nuclear is nowhere near enough to achieve these things and keep the lights on too, so "clean coal" pretty much has to be real.
Even Dr Gilfillan hedges his bets, though: "carbon dioxide has been stored" is a far cry from "carbon dioxide can be stored in vast amounts without any getting out".
And the assembled researchers, in fact, merely say that mineral storage mechanisms can largely be ignored, and that future studies of carbon storage "should focus on the potential mobility of CO2 dissolved in water".
The jury's still out on carbon capture viability, then: and indeed, this research might well turn out to be an early nail its coffin, rather than proof of a "sparkling future" as uk.gov would like to suggest. ®
To put things into perspective, a pre-combustion capture power plant that produces 500MW might have a total 'parasitic load' of approximately 120MW, leaving 380MW of net power exported to the grid. CO2 would typically be compressed to about 150 times atmospheric pressure, so that it becomes a 'dense phase fluid' (very similar to a liquid) and then it is easy to transport. You are correct that the carbon capture and compression consume a significant amount of energy, but there are still commercial-scale power plants with carbon capture being planned; it is relatively simple technology.
On the storage side, it is very important to distinguish between injection into saline aquifers and injection into producing / depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Oil and gas reservoirs are relatively well-understood in terms of seismic data, and have an impervious layer of cap rock that has kept the oil/gas/water in situ for millions of years, whereas saline aquifers may carry the risk of CO2 migrating to the surface. I do not believe this article makes that distinction obvious for the reader.
What about the o2 in CO2
What gets me about this whole idea is what do we do when the partial presure of Oxigen in the atmosphere starts going down because the CO2 never gets recycled.
What the Death-Merchants Don't Want You To Hear: Carbon IS the Element of Life
I find the whole notion of CO2 being evil as odd.
The Greenhouse Effect is what brings LIFE to the Earthen biosphere. If there is no greenhouse effect, every living thing on the planet would die.
Let's take what concerns people, the most, about CO2, and seriously consider it.
CO2 is a negligible greenhouse gas, in comparison to Methane, which has a much greater greenhouse effect. We can (and should) use methane as a fuel (converting Methane to CO2, while capturing the energy, by burning it will actually cool the earth.) What is odd - some bozo's actually think that the production of CO2 is a bad thing, while not burning methane actually makes things worse, by their own standard!!!
If it is true that the Coal and Oil sequestered under the ground was originally plant life on the surface of the earth, then releasing it to be used at the surface should be returning the Earth to a more natural state. Isn't a more natural Earthen state desirable? Isn't this the standard that most conservationists use? Why are they against returning the Earth to a more desirable, former, state?
A gradual increase in CO2, above the earth's surface, allows for plants to grow more efficiently, and produce more plant material, to feed animals from. Isn't more food desirable??? Do people just want plants & animals to starve to death???
CO2 makes plant life grow more vigorously. Greater plant life can be used to create energy from more renewable resources, allowing for greater use of Ethanol, Bio-Deisel, Bio-Mass, etc. Isn't this the goal, to use more renewable resources???
The sun is the source of energy most used on the Earth. Carbon is the element that allows the Earthen biosphere to harness it. CO2 feeds plants, that capture the sun's energy (free-of-charge.) It seems crazy to me that people are trying to sequester CO2, when living things on the Earth NEED the energy that CO2 is critical in the process pants use to capture solar energy, for all things living to use later use!!!
I am quite tired of the weirdos with their green clothing, just trying to kill everything alive. They are little more than Death-Merchants.