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Carbon capture and storage

In a world of increasing energy demands and a need to reduce carbon emissions to atmosphere, carbon capture and storage plays a vital role in reducing energy emissions from fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage is the generic term for a number of technologies that capture CO2 from static sites and transports them to a permanent geological storage site, thereby removing emissions, which would otherwise have gone into the atmosphere.

While carbon capture and storage offers huge opportunities to reduce carbon emissions, it must be implemented in a safe manner ensuring that any plant in operation is safe for workers and the general public. The Energy Institute recognised the need to gather the carbon capture and storage industry together to manage the health and safety of carbon capture and storage.

CCS Projects

Starting in 2006, the Energy Institute, together with the UK Health and Safety Executive and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association brought the industry together to discuss issues surrounding the implementation of this technology. From that work, a joint Energy Institute and Carbon Capture and Storage Association working group was formed in 2007 from which two initial projects were identified.

The working group now has 17 industry members from across the oil and gas, power generation, industrial gases and engineering industries, two affiliated university members and is supported by the UK Health and Safety Executive and the UK Health and Safety Laboratories.

Project 1: Modelling the dispersion of supercritical and dense phase CO2
In order to transport CO2 over long distances, it is necessary to pressurise the gas so that it reduces the overall size of the pipelines and the cost of transportation. This means gas is transported in a supercritical or dense phase form. The Energy Institute is producing a good practice guidance document on modelling the dispersion of dense phase and supercritical CO2.

The report examines a number of commercially available and free to use dispersion modelling programmes and sets out how to use and adjust these models to accurately model CO2. As part of the project, the working group is carried out some CO2 release work in the summer of 2008. The release work will be used as part of the validation process for the modelling work.

The report will also set out specific cases where the modelling does not apply eg buried pipelines with a concrete shield, and what can be done in those instances. The good practice guidance document is due for publication.

Project 2: Transferring good practice experience from the industrial gases sector
to the carbon capture and storage sector
The industrial gases sector has considerable experience in handling CO2 safely. It is important that the carbon capture and storage sector builds on this knowledge rather than deriving this information from first principles.

The second project is a short report detailing some of the key learning experiences from the industrial gases sector in handling CO2 and its application to the carbon capture and storage sector. The report is due for publication.

Additional publications in this field of work include:

For more information on either of these joint industry projects at the Energy Institute, please contact the Technical team at e:

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