UKCCSRC Call 1 Projects Update at the UKCCSRC Biannual April 2014

Written by Usman Ali, PhD student at the University of Leeds who attended the UKCCSRC Biannual in Cambridge in April 2014 with support from the UKCCSRC Early Career Researcher Meeting Fund

Flexible CCS Network Development (FleCCSnet) project update – PI: Dr Julia Race, Newcastle University

Update presented by Dr Hannah Chalmers, University of Edinburgh.

The FleCCSnet project is aimed to produce the design and operating guidelines for the CCS pipeline networks. The research will be focused on the networks which will react effectively towards the short, medium, and long term variations in the availability and flow of the CO2 from capture plants, also towards the various limitations imposed on the system by the ability of the CO2 storage facilities for the transient flow of the CO2 to be acceptable. The project will be focused on the different scenarios for the variability of the CO2 flow in the CCS pipeline network from either site, developing the hydraulic models for the CO2 behaviour, carrying out different workshops for the practitioners and the stakeholders, delivering the guidelines to the stakeholders, related practitioners and industry and engaging them in the CCS.

The current update is to work on the possible scenarios of the CO2 sources such as power plants and other CO2 emitting sources. Then different operational scenarios will be defined which will investigate the effect of different variables, on the variation of the flow through the pipeline networks and their impact be analysed.

In the scenario building stage, three scenarios have been defined so far; such as,

  • Baseline
  • Capture variations
  • Injection/Storage variations

In the baseline, steady state models with realistic maintenance, start-up and shut-down conditions with no interim storage will be outlined. In the capture variation scenario, different power plants depending upon their merit, planned or unplanned outages and capture choice with the development of renewables will be worked out. While for the injection and storage variations different variables might include, the design and operation specs of the storage site and pipeline network, and their maintenance.

These scenarios will play to create various CO2 profiles for the flow through the pipeline networks and help in establishment of flexible network for the transient flow of the CO2 through the whole chain and can react to multiple dynamic CO2 sources and storages sites.

CO2 Storage in Paleogene and Neogene Hydrogeological systems of the North Sea: preparation of an IODP scientific drilling bid project update – PI: Dr Sam Holloway, British Geological Survey

The project is to prepare a drilling bid to contribute to the development of major potential of the CO2 storage sites in the Central North and Northern Sea. Paleogene and Neogene hydrogeological systems of the North Sea are the shallowest part of the sea. The project will inform the selection of a site suitable for the scientific drilling to maximise the yield of information relevant to the geological storage sites of CO2 in subsurface strata in the North Sea. The project is focused towards the development of the major potential CO2 storage reservoirs for the UK sector of the Northern and Central North Sea by developing the understanding of the geometry and properties of the overburden above the potential reservoirs and seals. These reservoirs are some of the most widespread and internally hydraulically well-connected reservoirs on the UK Continental Shelf and appear to have excellent potential for high injectivity, large capacity without excessive pressure rise and, in some cases, good containment. The two aims defined for the project includes, mapping the potential of the CO2 storage reservoir and seals, and get everything ready for a bid to Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) to drill data wells.

BGS have allowed using 3D mega survey data in the Central North Sea, which provides high quality data over our whole area of interest for the CO2 UK storage sector. Some more data such as of the WesternGeco, 2D seismic lines are also useful in predictions. So, 85 gigabyte of seismic data is helpful in the interpretation of the seismic lines in the North Sea basin which will result in the selection of a site suitable for the scientific drilling to maximise the yield of information relevant to the geological storage sites of CO2.

The project is cooperated with a separately funded Norwegian Reservoir Consortium partners and have submitted the pre-proposal to the International Ocean Discovery Program to drill data wells in the North Sea to obtain core samples and data from the overburden succession above its most promising CO2 storage reservoirs.

If this proposal is successful it will leverage millions of pounds of rig time and drilling expertise to recover continuous core and well logs through the overburden above the major CO2 storage reservoir.

Determination of water solubility limits in CO2 mixtures to deliver water specification levels for CO2 transportation project update – PI: Professor Mike George, University of Nottingham

Update presented by Dr Stéphanie Foltran, University of Nottingham

Literature lacks the data for defining the water levels in the CO2 to be transported through the pipeline network of the whole chain CCS. As the water will be acidic in the presence of the excess CO2, or by the presence of the traces of SO2 and H2S, which may result to the damage or corrode the pipeline network. So, the main aim of the project is to develop the solubility limits of H2O in impure CO2 to have safe pipeline transportation. The project will provide the accurate data for the impure CO2 transportation and will help in the accurate, robust and safe pipeline network specifications.

The aim of the present research is to understand the physio-chemical properties of the impure CO2 during transport as to prevent water to precipitate out. The present research is carried out onto the solubility of water in CO2 containing small percentages of N2 such as 5% and 10% at the temperature of 40oC in the pressure range of 8-18 Mpa. The research strategy is to develop two independent methods; first one is the FT-IR spectrometer in which the H2O shows high solubility in infra-red. The second method is the Karl Fischer titration which will work at low temperature and can detect micro grams of the H2O content. Karl Fischer titration at low temperature will help in producing lower temperature data in the future to be appropriate with the low temperature of the carbon capture and storage. Some groups have showed in the literature, the solubility data for 2% H2 in CO2 which can reduce the molar density up to 25% in the critical region.

The present research is carried out solely on the in-situ original high pressure – high temperature setup coupled to an FT-IR spectrometer. The FT-IR spectrometer setup consists of pump, heating jacket and equilibrium cell and have the capability to get the homogenous data. The results have showed that the N2 can be lowered up to 30% for the solubility of H2O in the CO2 at 40oC. The uncertainty measured is less than 4%.

The results are promising and are first in time. The future work will be on the Karl Fischer titration and the multiple mixtures of the CO2 with N2 and H2.