Spring Conference 2022 ECR blog series #7- highlights from Core Research Parallel session 1B: Storage

As part of our Spring Conference ECR blog series, Catrin Harris, Imperial College London and Gurpreet Singh Sodhi, Cranfield University, share their experiences of Core Research Parallel session 1B: Storage.

The challenges of geological carbon storage

We heard from 4 speakers about the challenges and research being done in the remit of geological carbon storage.

First up we heard from Samuel Krevor, Imperial College London. We need to scale up CCS to the rate of 10 Gton/yr by the mid century to meet climate targets. He is working with PhD student Flowra Zhang to create logistic growth models to evaluate the feasible scale up of carbon storage sites. In addition, he presented experimental and numerical work by PhD students Catrin Harris and Nele Wenck investigating the impact of capillary heterogeneity on CO2 plume migration and trapping.

Next to speak, Stuart Gilfillian, University of Edinburgh continued the discussion on the scale up of CCS needed to meet climate goals. Agreeing we are not limited by storage capacity, Stuart suggested a lack of projects planned post 2030 may limit progress. An interesting discussion as to whether we have the time to wait for insight from the current phase of projects (2020-2030) as without further plans we are expected to only reach 10% of global capacity.

Our third speaker, Adam Butler, University of Cambridge highlighted work from his group on reduced order models for CO2 storage. These models, which allow for simpler calculations, can give insight into the processes resulting from complex heterogeneity. Small scale heterogeneity is key to predict processes in CO2 storage sites, failure to account for heterogeneity may account for discrepancies between models and observations.

Finally, John Williams, BGS discussed detailed studies which have been carried out to characterise the Bunter Sandstone including work on pressure propagation within the formation. The Bunter Sandstone, in the Endurance field, is of key importance as the planned geological storage site for the East coast cluster.

A great session highlighting the key challenges in achieving permeant geological carbon storage at the scale needed to meet climate targets.