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August 7, 2011

SCI-FUN Fusion Under Sea Carbon Capture and Storage System

at 1:09 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Educational, Insane Equipment


We are all aware of global warming,but what can we do. I think everyone agrees that we need to make drastic changes to avoid an environmental imbalance. One of these drastic changes was demonstrated to me by Stuart Dunbar from SCI-FUN Fusion at the University of Edinburgh. I met Stuart at the All Energy Conference in Aberdeen Scotland. Their idea is to capture the CO2 gas that would normally be released into the atmosphere by refineries. This captured CO2 would then be pumped into cavities below the sea floor where fossil fuel has previously been removed.

Read more about the Under Sea Carbon Capture and Storage System.

“Methane gas is produced from offshore gas fields, and is brought onshore by pipeline. Using existing oil-refinery technology, the gas is ‘reformed’ into hydrogen and CO2. The CO2 is then separated by a newly-designed membrane, and sent offshore, using a corrosion-resistant pipeline. The CO2 goes to an oilfield and is stored several kilometres below sea level, instead of being vented into the atmosphere from the power station.

In collaboration with the School of Engineering and the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage, and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the FUSION outreach group has designed and built an interactive CCS model (CCSI), which demonstrates the CCS chain from removal of CO2 to injection. The unit is being taken to schools throughout Scotland as part of the research presentation.”


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8 Responses to “SCI-FUN Fusion Under Sea Carbon Capture and Storage System”

  1. cheap bedding collections Says:

    That’s pretty exciting news and I really hope more people get to read this.

  2. R3B3 Says:

    Do you think that they have fully considered the thermal dynamics of pumping large volumes of a cryogenic liquid into the earth crust?

  3. Peter Reid Says:

    Hi —
    [I’m the designer of the CCSI unit, shown above.] One of the things to remember is that the CO2 is liquid because it’s under pressure at (say) 1200m below the surface. It won’t be cryogenic — quite the opposite — but the ambient pressure at those depths will keep it liquid. Plus, the CO2 is displacing liquid that’s already present. For example, at the Sleipner field in the North Sea, it’s the existing saline aquifer fluid that’s being replaced by the CO2. You’re right to ask about the dynamics of the situation: using Sleipner as an example, again, the injection is actually being carried out at a shallower depth (800m-ish), which is closer to a depth where the CO2 would convert to gaseous form, which can have serious impact on the storage viability.
    Cheers, Peter Reid, FUSION manager.

  4. vic Says:

    @R3B3: who said cryogenic? Just highly compressed.

    I have serious doubts about this technique however, it assumes that the oil fields would be impermeable to a high pressure, low viscosity, slightly acidic fluid, and the fields integrity has already been compromised by the drillings. There’s the problem of collecting the CO2 produced just about anywhere.

    The drastic changes that we need to make are to produce less C02, not swipe it under the rug 😉

  5. R3B3 Says:

    Peter, You have looked into the risk assessment, I applaud that consideration. I would have like to have heard those touched on in the original report.

    Okay I give cryogenic liquid wasn’t totally correct the transition from liquid to gas is endothermic hence causing very low temperatures although not truly cryogenic.

    I would conclude it has serious thermodynamic potential. I would be interested in more information concerning the multiphase flow.

    Are you working only with material separation or also with delivery and long term dynamics?

    Any known or perceived risks associated with the direct displacement/dissolution into the brine?

  6. Scuba Says:

    Could this be used in submarines or at diving?
    When I dive to 50M under water could I use this to improve oxygen consumption?
    When I exhale I will exhale only CO2 and no oxygen.
    So with one tank I could be longer time under water.

  7. PJ PJ Says:

    The CO2 is “separated” by a membrane………what is it separated into? If it is “separated”,it is no longer CO2…. Do the new separated substances need to be stored then?
    What do the Plants use to make oxygen if the co2 is gone? It is the lowest in our atmosphere in a VERY long time……scary. oxygen atmosphere polluted….cleaning capability of plants depleted and compromised……..if I’m not a scientist and these things seem nonsensical…. how much more fantastic, outrageous and terrifying the truth and the rest of the insidious details must be.
    How will the atmosphere be affected if it is filled with unnatural substances like barium, aluminum, strontium, arsenic etc…….. and all the essential elements removed/compromised/soiled. carbon, oxygen, hydrogen…
    Is our planet being newly terraformed? I’m pretty simple minded. These are just a few questions that begin to tick throw my empty head.

  8. Peter Reid Says:

    @7 PJ PJ:
    The term ‘separated’ here just means that the CO2 is removed from the gas stream, leaving behind the other gases (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, water vapour etc); the CO2 molecules themselves aren’t broken up. Also, CO2 levels are at their _highest_ for some time. In geological timescales there have been higher levels, of course, but we’re seeing the highest levels now in the last million years or so. Oxygen, nitrogen and argon levels — the three most plentiful gases in the atmosphere, making up over 99.96%! — are essentially unchanged, so there’s no worry about large-scale terraforming… [Of course, as we saw in the 1950s and 60s, tiny amounts of harmful materials, such as radioactive fallout, can have an impact, so quantities aren’t the only parameter.] Both CO2 and the increasing possibility of large-scale methane release are still the most worrying tipping mechanisms in the global thermodynamic system.
    Cheers, Peter Reid, FUSION manager

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