Micro CT Scanner to further carbon capture research
A new Micro CT Scanner installed at Curtin University will enable advanced research into geosequestration, long recognised as a viable method for safely disposing of CO2 underground.
The capability of the scanner will be the most advanced in Australia for obtaining high-resolution physical detail of how CO2 and other greenhouse gases pass through a selected reservoir, at temperatures and pressures typical of greenhouse gas geo-sequestration conditions.
Professor Brian Evans, Director Oil and Gas Projects at Curtin and part of the National Geosequestration Laboratory Science Committee, said the scanner would allow researchers to determine more precisely the storage capacity and dependability of particular formations under a wide range of conditions.
"While Australia has completed first-class research in this area, there are still gaps in knowledge about the most technical aspects of geosequestration," Professor Evans said.
"Precisely how CO2 moves when it interacts with certain porous rocks is not yet fully understood."
Dr Stefan Iglauer, from Curtin’s Department of Petroleum Engineering, is leading the work on generating simulated reservoir conditions that will be integrated into the Micro CT scanner. He will study factors that influence CO2 geosequestration in a range of storage rocks in Australia.
"Understanding how CO2 moves and behaves at a high-resolution 3D micrometre-level will help to address some of the residual uncertainties around geosequestration, and thus improve public acceptance which is currently the main obstacle to large scale carbon capture and storage implementation and CO2 emission reduction," Dr Iglauer said.
"The applications to petroleum physics are significant, and will deliver a more comprehensive understanding of the total processes occurring in storage rock."
Curtin is a recognised leader in CO2 reservoir studies. The scanner is part of the new $12.94 million research facilities that will be established at the University, which was funded by the National Geosequestration Laboratory fund – $48.4 million initiative to support the development of CO2 geosequestration technologies in Australia.