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Chinese Experts Shed Light on Deep-Sea Storage of CO2

 July 6, 2018

Chinese researchers have found that carbon dioxide can be stored in deep-sea sediments safely and in stable condition.

The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, revealed that the negative buoyancy effect caused by high density of liquid carbon dioxide, along with the formation of carbon dioxide hydrate, could provide an effective barrier to prevent the upward flow of the injected carbon dioxide.

Carbon capture and storage is considered to be a promising option to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of human-caused carbon dioxide and mitigate climate change.

Although conventional proposals for geologic sequestration, including injection into deep saline aquifers, oil and gas fields and deep coal seams, are prospective, the stored carbon dioxide is so buoyant that it may escape from permeable pathways into the atmosphere.

Carbon sequestration in deep-sea sediments could take advantage of the high pressure and low temperature of sub-sea sediments, according to the study.

The paper’s senior author Zhang Dongxiao, a professor at Peking University, said the required infrastructure of this option is similar to that used in the recent pilot of natural gas hydrate extraction in the South China Sea.

“Compared with previous studies, the superiority of our study is the incorporation of the dynamics of dissolved components and their corresponding effects on hydrate reaction and fluid flow,” the paper’s first author Teng Yihua said. “This allows us to study the long-term evolution of different phases and components. Consequently, we are able to predict the long-term changes of the injected carbon dioxide, which was not possible in previous studies.” (Xin Hua)

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