Following €2M funding from the European Union’s Research Funds for Coal and Steel (RFCS) programme, academics from the FLEXIS project are collaborating with the Central Mining Institute (GIG) in Poland, Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam Deutschesgeoforschungszentrum GFZ in Germany and Polska Grupa Gornicza (PGG) in Poland, to enhance efficiency of subsurface carbon sequestration in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
What is carbon sequestration?
Carbon sequestration is a prominent technology in the strategies for climate change mitigation.
In short, it is the process of injecting carbon dioxide, that poses a great threat to the environment, into abandoned oil fields, saline aquifers and coal seams.
Our research looks at injecting and storing captured CO2 from industrial operations and from the atmosphere into abandoned and/or un-minable coal seams.
What is this research looking into?
Scientists are building on previous discoveries that the FLEXIS team made when similar experiments were carried out on a smaller test area.
Over the next 3 years, the expert team will conduct in-situ tests at Experimental Mine Barbara (EMB), Mikołów, Poland and will evaluate if increasing the size of the coal-CO2 contact area will improve sequestration of CO2.
Research will also include looking at preferential flow paths and what is the minimal cost of using horizontal wells to improve carbon sequestration.
FLEXIS’ Lead Principal Investigator, Professor Hywel Thomas, said:
“The team at FLEXIS has conducted research is this area for many years and has had many breakthroughs in reducing the CO2 in our atmosphere through carbon sequestration into coal.
Subsurface sequestration of carbon dioxide is a widely recognised technology to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2. The technology relies on the injection of CO2 into suitable geologic formations e.g. coal-seams, saline aquifers, abandoned oil reservoirs etc. In that regard, European regions of rich coal deposits are significant and can play pivotal roles to achieve carbon emission reduction targets.
A techno-economic assessment will also be conducted to optimise the use of proposed technique at minimum costs and environmental impact.
Thanks to this grant, we will build on our previous success and continue to work in partnership with our European partners to further develop our research into protecting our planet.”