UKCCSC News 30 Aug 2007

Hi Folks,

A last blast of summer CCS news, blown in on the almost-autumnal breezes, before the tides of term turn.

Today’s theme is inaccurate reporting of geology. I’m not sure whether to blame the permanently-drunken reporters, or the egg-heads who don’t condescend to explain their work in terms the press can understand.

1) 100MW clean coal plant in Queensland by 2011. Not definite yet but at least it’s something to aim for.

Of course, you mustn’t believe the press, as this doesn’t ring true:

“The drill tests were undertaken at depths of between 1000m and 2000m, with water injected into underground caverns”.

It’s a popular mis-conception that there are huge caverns underground, and that’s where oil and gas come from. Later, the article talks about injection into saline aquifers, which is presumably more accurate.,25197,22331383-601,00.html

2) Information about the UK CCS competition can be found at:

There’s not much there now, but will be filled in sometime in the future, so you can bookmark the page … however, there is a link to:

3) “The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (the Department) intends to issue a contract notice for the design, construction and operation of an integrated power plant which successfully demonstrates a full chain of carbon dioxide capture, transport and storage technology. The project would have to demonstrate the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide at a commercial scale and on a long term basis. The Department’s current intention is for the plant to start demonstrating carbon dioxide capture and storage by 2014”;jsessionid=DDE8133DD4813FC7A0336ADD00A07BFC.instance_1?DataFlow=ShowPage.dfl&Template=TED/N_one_result_detail_curr.htm&docnumber=195972-2007&docId=195972-2007&StatLang=EN

4) Centrica warns billions needed to avert energy crisis

“Firms bidding to build the world’s first carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) power plants, which store the carbon dioxide produced rather than allowing it to be emitted into the atmosphere, have told the Government that they need funding of at least £300m to build each one.

German groups RWE and E.ON, as well as Centrica and US oil major ConocoPhillips, are planning to take part in the competition, which the Government formally starts in November.”

5) The Japanese seem to have got off to a good start, I’d not heard much about this project before: “RITE in July 2003 began experiments involving the collection of 20 tons of CO2 per day at an oil company facility in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture. A total of 10,400 tons of the gas was compressed and injected into a geographical sandstone formation 1,100 meters deep.” Geographers can keep their grubby hands off our rocks.”geographical sandstone” indeed! As it has become trendy to group geology and geography together in geosciences institutes, perhaps in future we’ll have “geoscientifical sandstones”?

6) “The University of Nottingham will house cutting-edge technology that ‘captures’ pollution and stores it permanently inside rocks.”

I recommend you read this carefully, it’s not what it seems!

Dr Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Associate Professor and Reader in Energy Technology, has won £1.1m for a new centre at the university that is set to play a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

The Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS), which is due to open in October 2007, will develop state-of-the-art technologies to trap and store greenhouse gases permanently and safely, so they are not released into the atmosphere.”

You have to read quite a long way to get to this bit (edited for brevity):

CO2 extracted from burning coal is put into a reactor with silicate-based rocks such as serpentine. Serpentine binds the carbon dioxide to itself, ‘locking it in’ permanently – it is estimated that the reaction will take place within minutes. The end product is a mineral such as magnesite, which can be used as aggregates for road-building or shaped into bricks for construction.