The federal government yesterday opened the new National Geosequestration Laboratory in Perth.
The centre will focus on investigating CO2 emissions and “carbon capture” technologies in an effort to assist the resources industry with reducing their carbon footprints and storing greenhouse gasses.
The NGL is a collaboration between CSIRO, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.
Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said the prospect of storing large volumes of carbon dioxide “safely”, will have long-term benefits for Australia’s energy sector.
“Carbon capture and storage is recognised internationally as a technology that can reduce carbon emissions,” he said, citing as much as a 13 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050.
“The coal and gas sectors are major contributors to our economy and to our diverse energy mix, and are also vital in powering economic development in some of the world’s most rapidly growing countries, so this research in CCS technology is particularly important for Australia.”
Head of petroleum engineering at Curtain University, Professor Brian Evans said the new centre had already begun investigating the seismic implications of fracking and the impact of CO2 being injected into sedimentary rock.
“Firstly, the centre has allowed us to now have a mobile seismic crew in operation and significantly improved data processing,” he said.
“So the crew can now go to any site, no matter how big or small or close or far, and measure the seismic data and assess where the C02 might be running when it is injected.”
Mr Evans said the centre would provide a vital tool for industry to provide accurate monitoring of their mining operations and carbon footprint.