‘Early warning’ CO2 tracking technique could prove invaluable to climate action, SCCS say


New research showing how naturally occurring noble gases can be used to track the movement of carbon dioxide (CO2) injected underground could provide a reliable monitoring technique for carbon storage operators worldwide, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) has revealed.

With nations having committed to rapidly reducing carbon emissions to slow climate change, one approach is to deploy geological CO2 storage until cleaner energy sources are fully in place.

Storage operators must ensure that injected CO2, captured from industrial processes or power generation, is stored securely. That means being able to track its movement below ground and identify its source.

The new method developed by scientists at SCCS partner institute, the University of Edinburgh, stems from previous research suggesting that chemical tracers provide a fingerprint for injected CO2, which can be clearly distinguished from natural sources. However, the movement of these tracers below ground was poorly understood and it was uncertain whether they could act as an early warning of migrating CO2.

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