A Breakthrough in Capturing and Storing Carbon Dioxide?
Researchers from MIT seem to have come up with a breakthrough for how to store and capture carbon dioxide, and it does not appear that it willescape into the atmosphere. MIT researchers report "We have shown a much safer way of disposing C02 than previouslybelieved, because a large portion—maybe all—of the CO2 will be trappedin small blobs in the briny aquifer. Based on experimentsand on the physics of flow and transport, we know that the flow of theCO2 is subject to a safety mechanism that will prevent it from rising up to the top just beneath the geologic cap." Clearly, therefore, some of the doubts about carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere may beremoved based on this experiment. In essence, there is a way to storeand capture carbon dioxide underground by storing what would otherwiseescape into the atmosphere into aquifers. These aquifers will, in turn, enable the carbon dioxide to interact with its surroundingenvironment/ecosystem.
For quite some time now, the debate at least about whether carbondioxide escaping into the atmosphere as a rationale against capturingand storing carbon might be moot if scientific experiments show thatthis is indeed possible and not a figment of anyone’s imagination. After all, the argument that has been around for a long time is thatstoring and capturing carbon dioxide is necessary, but there is aquestion about whether it is even possible. Then again, argumentssaying the technology for capturing and storing carbon dioxide not being there may have merit if, in fact, what works in an academic laboratorymay not perform well in real life or practice. As a result, opponentsof CCS or carbon capture sequestration have legitimate issues if it canbe proven that what works in a lab may not work necessarily out in thefield in a day to day exercise. Consequently, it is possible more study needs to be done to ensure that capturing and storing carbon dioxidewill mean that it stays permanently in the aquifer and does not escapeinto the Earth’s atmosphere. Nevertheless, the fact that MIT has shownit is indeed possible for carbon dioxide to be stored in aquifers seemslike an interesting finding that is worth exploring further as the U.S.attempts to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide it emits. In essence,capturing and storing carbon dioxide in aquifers should be considered abreakthrough since not much is known about how to store CO2. Understanding that it can happen without escaping into the Earth’satmosphere is the first step to its development and advancement. Afterall, the process for storing and capturing carbon dioxide has to startsomewhere.
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