Academics from the FLEXIS project are collaborating with the Central Mining Institute (GIG) and Polska Grupa Gornicza (PGG) and Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam Deutschesgeoforschungszentrum (GFZ), to establish an underground research observatory to unlock the potentials of using European coal reserves for carbon storage.

The ROCCS project, a three-year project commencing on 1st September 2020, will establish a research observatory to unlock European coal seams for carbon dioxide storage. Engineers working on the project will expand the discoveries that the FLEXIS team made when conducting lab based testing and modelling work.

The expert team from FLEXIS and its European partners, will also conduct in-situ tests at Experimental Mine Barbara (EMB), Mikołów, Poland. The aim is to overcome the limitations pertinent to CO2 injectivity to increase the amount of gas storage in a coal seam. This is often experienced in existing technologies.

A state-of-the-art, a horizontal well system will be designed and installed in the EMB for optimising CO2 injection. Within the ROCCS project, a large-scale commercial site will also be selected and analysed for optimum CO2 storage in a cost-effective manner, supported by a detailed techno-economic analysis.

“This project is an excellent opportunity to take our years of world leading researching from the lab into a full-scale demonstration test site,” said Professor Hywel Thomas, FLEXIS’ Lead Principal Investigator.

“Subsurface sequestration of carbon dioxide is a widely recognised technology to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2. In that regard, we have a strong working partnership with Poland and as many European regions have significant rich coal, deposits, partnership such as this can play a pivotal role in achieving EU’s carbon emission reduction targets.”