Scientists looking for ways to reduce CO2 effects in air
UH researchers are conducting a study that involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) before it is released into the atmosphere to minimize its hazardous effects.
The researchers mitigate the CO2 by injecting it into oil-depleted rock beds in a process known as carbon sequestration.
Geophysics professor Christopher Liner is leading the University’s study, with the goal of accurately graphing the regions where the carbon dioxide will be injected.
‘We use three-dimensional seismic imaging to look for small cracks and fractures in the area where the carbon dioxide would be injected,’ Liner said. ‘The significance of this research is to provide a type of early warning system.
‘When carbon dioxide is injected into the ground, it is important to make sure there will be no leakage. High concentration of carbon dioxide leakage can be a serious health hazard.’
The project pumps carbon dioxide into a depleted petroleum reservoir and saline aquifer in Dickman Field in Ness County, Kan.
Researchers are scheduled to finish the first phase of the study by the end of the year, and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is already applying for grants from the Department of Energy for the second phase of the Dickman project.
Liner said he looks forward to the next phase of the research.
‘We are a Texas university working in Kansas, and it just happened that way,’ Liner said. ‘What we are really interested in is the chance to work with a Texas utility.
‘We are actively looking for partners. We would like to improve the state of Texas … in preparing for the CO2 sequestration issue.’