CO2 storage in coal can be predicted better

Apr 13, 2007

CO2 storage in the ground is being considered increasingly more often in order to realise the climate and energy objectives. Dutch researcher Saikat Mazumder made it possible to better predict routes of the 'underground highways' along which gasses like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) will move. Moreover, coal was found to be highly suitable for filtering carbon dioxide out of waste gasses and storing it.

The ‘Enhanced Coalbed Methane process’ kills two birds with one stone: carbon dioxide (CO2) is stored in coal seams in the ground and at the same time methane (CH4) is obtained from the process. To optimise this process it is important to know how coal retains and stores some fluids and gasses whilst allowing others through.

The network of cracks is essential for this. Mazumder developed a measuring technique using CT scans that led to an improved understanding of the patterns of cracks. He also did experiments with waste gas and pure CO2 to determine the uptake capacity of single and multi-component gasses. In both wet and dry experiments, CO2 was strongly absorbed and CH4 was released. This methane production in a coal seam can vary over the course of time. Mazumder developed two estimating methods to gain a better understanding of this. When used together these could generate good predictions.

Problems due to swelling

The research revealed that a considerable quantity of CO2 could be removed from waste gas by allowing it to be adsorbed onto coal under high-pressure. According to Mazumder this means that the injection of waste gas into coal seams can be applied to filter out CO2 on an industrial scale and to retain it. Mazumder also carried out a preliminary study into the decrease in porosity and permeability as a consequence of coal swelling due to the injection of CO2. The decrease in the permeability can give rise to serious injection problems in the area of the well into which CO2 is injected.

Source: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Explore further: Radioisotope studies show the continental crust formed 3 billion years ago

Related Stories

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

5 hours ago

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

Recommended for you

ESA image: Northwest Sardinia

13 hours ago

This image over part of the Italian island of Sardinia comes from the very first acquisition by the Sentinel-2A satellite.

Experiments open window on landscape formation

Jul 02, 2015

University of Oregon geologists have seen ridges and valleys form in real time and—even though the work was a fast-forwarded operation done in a laboratory setting—they now have an idea of how climate ...

NASA image: Canadian wildfires continue

Jul 02, 2015

Canada is reeling from an early fire season this year as dozens of fires ravage at least three provinces of the country. All of the following reports are as of July 2, 2015.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.