Issue 07 | August 2007
Parliamentary Committee supports CO2CRC research
The Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation has
recommended that the Federal Government provide funding to progress research by
CO2CRC to assess the storage potential and economic viability of geological sequestration of
carbon dioxide in sedimentary basins in New South Wales, particularly the off-shore Sydney Basin.
In the report of its inquiry into the science and application of geosequestration technology in
Australia, the committee also recommended that the Government:
• fund one or more large-scale projects to demonstrate the operations and integration of
all aspects of carbon dioxide capture and storage, including capture, transport,
sequestration and monitoring and verification;
• implement a rigorous regulatory environmental-risk-mitigation framework for CCS;
• employ financial incentives, both direct and tax-based, to encourage science and
industry to continue developing and testing CCS technology; and
• following industry consultation, develop legislation to define the financial liability and
ongoing monitoring responsibilities at a geosequestration site.
A minority dissenting report by four members of the Committee disagreed with the majority
report’s “unequivocal support for the hypothesis that global warming is caused by man”. “The
evidence that human beings are changing the global climate is certainly not compelling,” the
minority report says.
The Age article
Warrnambool Standard article
Sydney Morning Herald article
Washington Post article
Download the Committee report
New ground rules for seismic survey
The wettest winter in 10 years in south-west Victoria has meant that CO2CRC has had to take a
new approach to its seismic survey for the Otway Project.
The survey has now been postponed twice, once in March because of drought and recently
because of wet weather, which has made the ground too soft to conduct the survey and raised
landholder concerns about loss of silage production.
The survey will now take place with the agreement of landowner, following their silage harvest and
when the ground is dryer. “Landholders told us that they close off a number of their paddocks at this
time of the year to allow the silage to grow,” said CO2CRC Otway Project manager, Sandeep Sharma.
“This means we cannot access certain areas that we need for the survey. We plan to resume the
survey after further consultation with the landholders and at time that fits in better with their land
Showing Nirranda landholders, the Australian community, government regulators and industry that
the geosequestration project is running safely and according to plan is a high priority for CO2CRC.
In order to do this CO2CRC has put in place a monitoring program that involves the regular testing
of the soil, groundwater, air and subsurface before during and after the injection of carbon dioxide.
The seismic survey is an important element of the monitoring program.
CO2CRC researchers will monitor the subsurface into which the carbon dioxide is being
injected and stored through the seismic survey. The survey will give researchers an accurate
picture of the rock layers deep below the earth’s surface.
EPA approval for carbon dioxide injection
EPA Victoria has issued a Research Development and Demonstration Approval for injection of
carbon dioxide in Australia’s first geosequestration demonstration, CO2CRC’s Otway Project
In the Otway Project in south-western Victoria, CO2CRC will inject up to 100,000 tonnes of
carbon dioxide into a deep geological formation, and monitor and verify that the carbon
dioxide is securely stored, demonstrating geosequestration as a technology that could be used
safely to make deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
The Research Development and Demonstration Approval requires CO2CRC to meet a range
of environmental quality requirements and report to EPA on the results of its extensive
monitoring program before, during and after injection of the carbon dioxide.
The program embarked on by CO2CRC to monitor the environment around the injection and
storage site and verify the secure storage of the carbon dioxide in a depleted gas reservoir is
the most extensive undertaken anywhere in the world, and includes monitoring of the
atmosphere, groundwater and subsurface. CO2CRC anticipates beginning the injection of
carbon dioxide at the Otway Project late this year.
Cost-effective capture process developed
CO2CRC PhD student Julianna Franco has developed a cost-effective process for capturing
carbon dioxide based on relatively inexpensive polypropylene in the place of the more
commonly used Teflon as a membrane gas absorption system. Ms Franco, a University of
Melbourne student, was able to modify the surface properties of polypropylene to make it as
water-repellent as Teflon, overcoming the problems previous researchers had found in using
polypropylene. The polypropylene carbon dioxide capture system is to be tested next year in a
pilot plant that is to process 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day.
Science Alert article
CRC Association media statement
Geosequestration ‘key to emissions goal’ - Turnbull
The world’s electricity must be generated from near-zero-emissions power plants by 2050 if a
50 per cent cut in global greenhouse gas emissions is to be achieved, and geological
sequestration of carbon dioxide is the key to achieving the goal, according to Australia’s
Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Reuters article through Independent Online
DoE to commission large-scale demonstrations
The United States Department of Energy is preparing to commission America's first large-scale
demonstrations of carbon dioxide capture and deep geological storage, fulfilling a previously
announced commitment announced to Phase III of the Carbon Sequestration Regional
Partnerships Program. The projects could lead to a tripling of the world's present large-scale
demonstrations. Proposals include the world's earliest examination of on-shore geological
storage in deep saline reservoirs, large-scale carbon dioxide capture in coal-based power
generation, and the first commercial-scale linking of monitored storage with enhanced oil
recovery in the United States. The awards are to be announced in the northern autumn, with
activities in support of initiating Phase III scheduled to being in October.
Department of Energy media statement
‘Time is short’ - Shell
Shell works with models that assume carbon capture and storage is installed at 90 per cent of
all the coal and gas-fired power plants in the rich countries by the year 2050, and at 50 per
cent in non-OECD countries, according to Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Jeroen
Van Der Veer. But time is short, and it will take a decade to test the technologies in pilot
projects before we can move to larger-scale projects, he writes in a Kenyan newspaper article.
The Standard article
Agreement to develop capture technology
BP Alternative Energy and Powerspan Corporation have announced agreement to develop and
commercialise Powerspan’s post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technology, ECO2. The
agreement includes financial and technical support for pilot demonstration and commercial
scale-up activities, which could include joint development of large-scale demonstration projects
that would capture carbon dioxide from power station flue gas for geological sequestration.
State ‘must expand capture research’
The state of Wyoming must expand its own research into carbon capture technologies
because United States federal commitment to such research was inadequate, Wyoming’s
Governor Dave Freudenthal said. Wyoming’s coal deposits and unique geology placed it in a
position to be a world class player in carbon conversion and sequestration, he said.
Jackson Hole State-Tribune article
Feasibility study on gas processing plant
Australian company Cool Energy Limited has moved a step closer to commercialisation of its
gas processing capture and storage technology following the signing of a Heads of Agreement
with Great Artesian Oil And Gas Limited to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a
CryoCell gas processing plant for its Cooper Basin gas fields in South Australia. The proposed
plant will be capable of treating 20 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and produce sales
gas, LPG and condensate, with carbon dioxide being captured and geologically stored.
Media statement through Oilvoice
Centre for Innovation funded
Funding has been announced to establish a Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and
Storage at the University of Nottingham to develop novel technologies to trap and store
greenhouse gases. Dr Maroto-Valer, of the University’s School of Chemical and Environmental
Engineering, said: “The way we will approach this problem is unique. The CICCS will bring
together engineers, mathematicians, bioscientists, geographers, geologists and end-users in a
‘hot-house’ environment that encourages creative problem-solving.”
University of Nottingham media statement
Proposals sought for capture demonstration
Florida-based Seminole Electric Cooperative has announced plans to solicit proposals for a
carbon dioxide capture demonstration project at its proposed Seminole Generating Station
Unit 3 facility, making it the first electric generating unit in Florida, coal or otherwise, to
propose to install such a demonstration project. The 750 megawatt coal-fired Seminole
Generating Station Unit 3 is scheduled to enter service in 2012. Seminole is seeking proposals
for the capture demonstration by September 2007.
Seminole Electric Cooperative media statement
Well-finding technology launched
Researchers at the United States Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology
Laboratory have launched a commercially available technology that can search vast areas of
abandoned oil and gas reservoirs and readily identify abandoned wells. They say their SEQURE
Well Finding Technology is both a time-saving and cost-effective way to locate abandoned wells,
so that ground teams can more efficiently evaluate them.
US Department of Energy statement
Disagreements among environmentalists
The CO2Sink project at Ketzin in Germany, involving injecting carbon dioxide into an onshore
saline aquifer, has highlighted disagreements among environmentalists, with some favouring
geological sequestration as the only way to cut carbon dioxide emissions at a time when
developing countries are burning ever-greater quantities of coal, while others fear future
leakage from geological sequestration sites.
International Herald Tribune article
Potential capture and storage project announced
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in New York State in the United States has announced
a potential carbon capture and storage demonstration project, with assessment of Praxair’s
oxy-coal technology to a proposed Circulating Fluidised Bed clean coal project, with captured
carbon dioxide being piped to a geological storage site.
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities media statement
Buffalo News article
More research needed to reduce capture costs
Research and development efforts could dramatically reduce the cost of capturing carbon
dioxide emissions from coal, but only with substantially increased investments over the next 20
years or more, the Electric Power Research Institute told a United States Senate hearing.
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune article
Companies test carbon dioxide as algal catalyst
While two Canadian companies are touting their solar-based bioreactor technology that uses
carbon dioxide as a catalyst for cultivating algal biomass which can be converted into biofuels, a
Massachusetts-based company with a similar technology is facing management and financial problems.
HazMat Daily News article
Developing countries acquiring skills
With the help of a capacity-building task force that is part of the Carbon Sequestration
Leadership Forum several developing countries are acquiring the knowledge, skills and
institutions they need to understand and implement carbon dioxide capture and storage.
The Hindu article
Carbon Markets USA will be held in San Francisco, California, on 11 and 12 September 2007. A
technical session examining the potential of carbon capture and storage in achieving significant
emissions reductions is included. The session will investigate what is being done to develop
carbon dioxide capture and storage technology, as well as the changes needed in regulatory
and policy frameworks to support the growth of this technology.
Carbon Finance World 2007 will be held at the University of Chicago, Illinois, United States,
from 18 to 20 September 2007. This conference has been developed to examine the emerging
opportunities in this new global market.
Capture and storage
The second International Symposium on Capture and Geological Storage of CO2 will be held on 4
and 5 October 2007 in Paris, France.
The fourth Trondheim Conference on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage will be held in
Trondheim, Norway, on 16 and 17 October 2007.
Carbon Capture & Storage, a conference produced by Conference World, will be held in Sydney,
Australia, on 29 and 30 October 2007. Speakers include the Chief Scientist of CO2CRC, Dr
CO2 Futures is the newsletter of the
Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC).
Ground Floor, NFF House, 14 – 16 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600
GPO Box 463, Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
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The CO2CRC collaborates with leading international and national carbon capture and storage experts to conduct world-class
research into CO2 geosequestration. Research organisations involved in CO2CRC include ACARP, the CSIRO, Foundation for
Research Science and Technology (NZ), Geoscience Australia and the Universities of Adelaide, Curtin, Melbourne, Monash
and NSW. Our industry partners are Anglo American, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, the NSW Department of
Primary Industries, NZ Resource Consortium, Rio Tinto, Schlumberger, Shell, Solid Energy, Stanwell, the Victorian
Department of Primary Industries, Woodside and Xstrata.
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