CO2CRC – more than a decade of success
The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) was established under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program more than a decade ago. Its aim was researching and demonstrating carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a major industrial emissions reduction technology. At the conclusion of CRC funding in 2014, CO2CRC Limited was established as a private, not-for-profit research organisation to not only continue the research, but strongly focus it towards commercial adaptability through cost-effectiveness.
CO2CRC Limited operates arguably the world’s best carbon storage research facility with more than $100m invested in understanding how carbon dioxide (CO2) behaves underground. From 2016 to 2020 a further $41m will be dedicated to fast-tracking storage research with the purpose of reducing the cost of CO2 monitoring work by tens to hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of a commercial CCS program.
CO2CRC is Australia’s key designer, initiator, and manager of carbon capture and storage research. It is the only company in Australia to have demonstrated CCS end-to-end. By engaging the best scientific minds from around the world, our work receives support from global industry, universities and government bodies. We bring together 32 organisations and approximately 150 researchers.
Between 2004 and 2015 over 65,000 tonnes of naturally occurring carbon dioxide-rich gas was captured and compressed, transported two kilometres by pipeline and injected into two different storage reservoirs, a depleted gas field, and a deep saline rock formation. The projects aimed to demonstrate that CO2 could be safely transported, injected and stored in different geological formations. An extensive long-term monitoring program, utilising a range of new and proven tools, provided researchers with comprehensive information on the stored CO2 while assuring the community and government of the safety of CCS.
From late 2015 to early 2016 researchers injected a further 15,000 tonnes of CO2 to establish minimum detection levels of CO2. For commercial scale emissions reduction projects that will store millions of tonnes per year, a minimum detection level of 5,000 tonnes is tiny.
Throughout 2016 CO2CRC will test an experimental carbon capture platform at its Otway Research Facility that will recover methane from a high CO2 concentrated gas well. The platform is designed to be cost-effective, scalable and test novel materials. This energy-efficient and robust capture plant is planned to be used in off-shore environments where untapped and abundant gas fields with high CO2 concentrations exist. Capturing and storing the CO2 from these gas fields will allow the fuel to be used in an environmentally sustainable manner.
CO2CRC’s research facility in the Otway, Victoria.