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RAL Space technology is helping turn carbon dioxide into rock

5 October 2018

Core from injection site

Core from injection site showing CO2 bearing carbonate minerals within basaltic host rock
(Credit: Sandra O Snaebjornsdottir)

STFC RAL Space is contributing to a unique project that will advance the provision of cleaner and cost-effective geothermal energy across Europe and the World with reduced emissions of carbon and sulphur.

The core of this project is the application of an innovative technology, recently developed and successfully demonstrated at a pilot-scale in Iceland, which can limit the emissions from geothermal plants by condensing and re-injecting the gases released back in to the Earth’s subsurface, or turning them into commercial products.

The RAL Space team will be working on the development of prototype laser sensing systems to accurately measure sulphur isotopes at geothermal field sites across Europe. Isotopic signatures can help in understanding the chemical processes happening in the subsurface rocks.

Dr Damien Weidmann runs the spectroscopy group at STFC’s RAL Space facility and said of the project:
“Our team will be contributing highly specialized instrumentation for the project and the benefits to STFC are that we will be able to further develop our R&D portfolio in the development of laser spectroscopy sensors for isotopic analysis, and also further exploit our technology in the field of geosciences and applications, related to the STFC grand challenges.”

The project, made up of a group of 18 partners across Europe, have received a EUR 16 Million grant from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme and the funding contributes to the GECO project, GECO standing for “Geothermal Emission COntrol”.

Once developed the prototype system will be deployed across several test sites in Iceland, Germany, Italy and Turkey.

You can read more about the project here.

Science and Technology Facilities Council
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