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Study: Salt Water Can Keep the Injected CO2 Underground


Do you know what a dog does, when he tries to hide his bone? He buries it. Likewise, an ostrich hides his head into sand when he thinks nobody will see him if he doesn’t see nobody.

The same rule goes with humans and the CO2 emitted by them (us). We are now trying to bury the CO2, get rid of it somehow, and if fossil fuels came from down below, we think that by sending CO2 from where it came, we will solve the problem partially. And that may be true, regarding that sometimes the patchy solutions are best. So, let’s try to patch our trouble.

On November 19, Steven Bryant, engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin, has presented a new research regarding the sequestration of carbon dioxide beneath the earth. The main problem with this CO2 sequestration solution is the possible re-escaping of CO2 after a while.

Instead of injecting compressed carbon dioxide into a deep underground layer, Bryant says that drilling wells in the deep, salt-water filled formation, pumping our the salt water, dissolving the CO2 into the salt water in a mixing tank at the surface, and then reinjecting the CO2-laden water back into the same formation, will help reducing its impact at the surface.

“Our idea is the equivalent of injecting carbonated water. This process has several advantages, but the most important is that it eliminates the risk of sequestered carbon dioxide escaping from the storage formation,” Bryant says. “Our work shows that this alternative process does cost more than the standard approach, but not prohibitively more. In essence, the incremental cost can be regarded as the price of risk reduction. This is an important consideration because all stakeholders will want the greatest assurance of secure storage for the lowest cost.”

So, the dog-like burying of CO2 can also be risk-free (at least, in theory). It’s a good idea and it should be applied immediately, added to the green energy production methods being studied. I think that should save a little bit of healthy atmosphere…

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  1. I heard of this process not too long ago. I appreciate this article because it clarifies more how the process is done. This should be adopted by our government, if it hasn’t been already. This seems like it is so good for the environment that it would be crazy to not do it. I look forward to hearing more about this!

    -Amber Coleman


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