First carbon capture experiment to take place under Scottish seabed next week
The world’s first carbon capture and storage experiment is to take place under the Argyll seabed next week.
From Monday, scientists will pump carbon dioxide into the sediment below Ardmucknish Bay at Benderloch.
They are hoping to develop a technology that could slow down climate change by capturing carbon dioxide before it is emitted into the atmosphere – and then storing it under the planet in sub-seabed reservoirs.
The Scottish Association of Marine Science and eight research partners are investigating the potential ecosystem impacts of geological carbon storage.
As part of the project the scientists will study what happens if carbon dioxide leaks from pipes or storage sites into the overlaying seabed and seawater.
They will simulate a leak by pumping carbon dioxide from gas containers based at the North Ledaig Caravan Park through a borehole to the release site around 10 metres below the seabed and 350 metres from the shore in Ardmucknish Bay.
The research is hoped to bring important information about the environmental impacts associated with carbon capture and storage.
Between 80-800 kilos of carbon dioxide will be pumped into the sediment bed each day for the 30-days of the trial, which will also be visited by a team of Japanese scientists.
Lead scientist Dr Henrik Stahl said it was expected to take the carbon ten days from its release on Monday to reach the sediment.
Monitoring equipment will detect any impact on flora and fauna down to microbe level.
The team will then spend 90 days observing how quickly the environment recovers.