Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS)

Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) is used as a mitigation strategy for addressing the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are working to deliver new approaches, methodologies and tools for the safe operation of offshore CCS sites.

Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) has been identified as a possible climate change mitigation strategy as it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels by long-term storage underground. It is however important that we can be confident that the gas will not escape which could pose a threat to the environment. In the ocean elevated levels of carbon dioxide have been shown to increase the acidity of the water, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification, which can have detrimental effects upon marine life.

We are conducting research into the requirements for the environmentally safe and sustainable implementation of CCS projects by developing approaches to enable appropriate marine storage sites to be selected and to monitor them effectively, to increase confidence in CCS as a viable option for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Our approach combines field experiments alongside laboratory work and mathematical modelling to gain new knowledge to underpin recommendations for future best practice which should benefit a broad range of stakeholders from regulatory bodies, to industry and the wider CCS community.

Making a difference

Our work relating to CCS has made an international impact on industry (e.g. Shell) and policy makers (e.g. DECC), by quantifying and lowering operational risk as well as by proposing cost effective monitoring strategies. With the potential expansion of CCS in forthcoming years, this work has great potential for future application.

Projects

Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts of Geological Carbon Storage (QICS)
Completed

Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts of Geological Carbon Storage (QICS)

Contact: Jerry Blackford

The purpose of the QICS project was to understand how the UK marine environment would respond to a potential leak from a carbon dioxide capture and...

STEMM-CCS

Strategies for Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage (STEMM-CCS)

Contact: Jerry Blackford

STEMM-CCS is an ambitious multi-disciplinary project that will deliver new approaches, methodologies and tools for the safe operation of offshore...

You may be interested in...

News

PML supports Carbon Capture & Storage recommendations

A major investigation from the Environmental Audit Committee, EAC is urging the government to produce a new strategy on Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS following the cancellation of a pioneering £1bn CCS competition last year, six months before it was due to be awarded.

News

Carbon dioxide capture & storage may be safe for the marine environment

Following a novel series of experiments carried out beneath the waters of a Scottish sea loch, a team of scientists led by PML have concluded that small-scale leaks from sub-seabed carbon dioxide storage are likely to have little effect on local marine life. 

News

Detecting sea floor carbon dioxide anomalies

​PML scientists are highlighting a new way of detecting carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) anomalies on the sea floor, and how this can help to monitor Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS).

Related publications

  1. Lessin, G; Artioli, Y; Queiros, AM; Widdicombe, S; Blackford, JC. 2016 Modelling impacts and recovery in benthic communities exposed to localised high CO2. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 109 (1). 267-280. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.05.071
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  2. Blackford, JC; Stahl, H; Bull, JM; Bergès, BJP; Cevatoglu, M; Lichtschlag, A; Connelly, DP; James, RH; Kita, J; Long, D; Naylor, M; Shitashima, K; Smith, D; Taylor, P; Wright, I; Akhurst, M; Chen, B; Gernon, TM; Hauton, C; Hayashi, M; Kaieda, H; Leighton, TG; Sato, T; Sayer, MDJ; Suzumura, M; Tait, K; Vardy, ME; White, PR; Widdicombe, S. 2014 Detection and impacts of leakage from sub-seafloor deep geological carbon dioxide storage. Nature Climate Change. 10.1038/nclimate2381
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  3. Jones, DG; Beaubien, SE; Blackford, JC; Foekema, EM; Lions, J; De Vittor, C; West, JM; Widdicombe, S; Hauton, C; Queiros, AM. 2015 Developments since 2005 in understanding potential environmental impacts of CO2 leakage from geological storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. 10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.05.032 (In Press)
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  4. Kita, J; Stahl, H; Hayashi, M; Green, T; Watanabe, Y; Widdicombe, S. 2015 Benthic megafauna and CO2 bubble dynamics observed by underwater photography during a controlled sub-seabed release of CO2. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 38. 202-209. 10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.11.012
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  5. Widdicombe, S; McNeill, CL; Stahl, H; Taylor, P; Queiros, AM; Nunes, J; Tait, K. 2015 Impact of sub-seabed CO2 leakage on macrobenthic community structure and diversity. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 38. 182-192. 10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.01.003
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