CarbonNet core in the CT scanner

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project, alongside the CarbonNet Project, has the potential to assist in Victoria’s energy transition and the decarbonisation of the state’s industry and manufacturing base.

Currently, the CarbonNet Project is investigating the potential for establishing a world-class, large-scale, multi-user carbon capture and storage (CCS) network.

CarbonNet’s proposed carbon dioxide storage site in the offshore Gippsland Basin (in Bass Strait) is a very large dome-shaped geological structure, with many rock layers.

The porous layers of sandstone can act like a sponge to store the CO2, while layers of shale and coal form the barriers which will trap the CO2 – the same way oil and gas has been trapped in Bass Strait naturally for millions of years.

The site – Pelican – is large enough to store at least five million tonnes of CO2 per year for 25 years. That’s the equivalent of CO2 emissions from around one million cars every year.

Recently, rock from Pelican has been analysed in a world-class laboratory to ascertain if it has the storage capacity required. Early data indicates that reservoir quality is better than predicted.

To analyse the rock, a one-metre segment of core drilled from deep under the Pelican site is being analysed by a Computed Tomography (CT) scanner in Perth. The CT scanner uses x-rays to build up a three-dimensional image inside the core sample to assess the properties of the rock ahead of further testing.  It uses the same techniques as a medical CT scanner.

CT scanning is a non-destructive method and is typically run at the start of a core analysis project.  Scanning identifies geological features, sedimentary bedding and composition changes that are taken into consideration when designing the detailed core analysis project.

Rock core analyses from the Pelican site are expected to be complete in early 2021.

This article originally appeared on CarbonNet and has been repurposed with permission.