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Carbon Capture and Storage

What is Carbon Capture and Storage?

Carbon Capture and Storage (or CCS) is a process where CO2 (carbon dioxide gas) produced from industrial processes are captured, compressed into a liquid and stored in natural underground reservoirs. It is done to avoid greenhouse gas emissions and hence reduce man-made climate change.

Storage Overview for Carbon Capture

The CO2 is stored as a liquid because it is denser and more efficient to store than as a gas. The reservoirs used are typically 1 km or more underground, usually in porous sandstone overlain by a mudstone layer that seals in the CO2 (see 1 and 4 in the diagram). Sometimes the CO2 that is injected into the underground reservoir can be used to enhance or increase the recovery of oil or gas (3 in the diagram).

Our team

 GNS Science has a team of over 30 staff with experience on CO2 storage. We specialise in assessing how much CO2 can be stored in a particular region or reservoir, what chemical reactions might occur with the rocks, what risks there are and their magnitudes, monitoring for potential leakage, and community concerns and perceptions associated with CCS. We have experience in New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Canada, and have led or contributed to specialist reports for the International Energy Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Programme (IEA-GHG) for use internationally.

Why we should assess our CO2 storage potential – climate change mitigation, economic benefits, and environmentally sound energy security.

Reducing our CO2 emissions - what tools are available for reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

Research – what is the potential for carbon dioxide storage in New Zealand, and where?

Consultancy services – assessment of storage potential, risks, and community views. 

Collaboration – many of our CCS researchers also work on oil and gas research, and we have in-house links to climate change researchers. Most of our research has been with the Australian-based CO2CRC and some of its partners (e.g., Australian School of Petroleum, Geoscience Australia, Australian universities and CSIRO). We also collaborate from time to time on CCS research with the University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, and CRL Energy.

External links on CCS