NCCCS researchers attend CGS Spring School in Poland
Two NCCCS researchers, Gemma Purser and Chijioke Nwankwor, recently attended the CGS Europe spring school on the geological storage of CO2. This school involved the participation of 8 teachers and 19 pupils from across Europe (UK, Hungary, Romania, The Netherlands, Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Slovenia and Poland). The school ran from the 12th - 18th of March and was sponsored by Stat-Oil, Zero Emission Platform (ZEP) and IEA-GHG. After initially meeting at the Polish Geological Survey-National Research Institute (PGI-NRI) headquarters in Warsaw, the group travelled to Leszcze, central Poland, where the course took place in a former manor house (now a fieldwork and core storage facility). The week started with a welcome from the organisers - Niels Poulsen from GEUS and CO2GeoNet, and Adam Wojcicki of PGI-NRI, the host institution.
Ameena Camps from IEA-GHG gave a presentation on the international status of CCS development with regards to policy, regulations and financial issues. One of the main highlights of her presentation was the mention that “Energy demand is set to increase by 50% in the next 20 years” hence the need for the deployment of CCS as an international carbon abatement technology. The difficulty of reducing CO2 emissions whilst meeting the increased demand for energy was demonstrated using an interesting exercise. Ameena also presented an introduction to CCS technologies from storage in saline aquifers, to the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery or geothermal energy systems. The main focus for the course however was geological storage of CO2 in deep saline aquifers or exhausted oil and gas reservoirs. Important concepts included CO2 storage trapping mechanisms, site selection and characterisation, storage capacity estimations, approaches to modelling, risk assessment, ranking and management along with a range of monitoring techniques for CO2 storage sites. The relation of these topics to current on-going pilot studies from across the world e.g Sleipner and Ketzin helped to elevate the lectures from just simple text book exercises into processes that could be visualised and contextualised.
Another great success of the spring school was the way in which the knowledge was transferred during the student project which ran over 4 days of the course. The setting was that the government had decided to fund one CCS project after agreeing to implement the EU directive on CCS. The 4 student teams, who each came up with a company name, then worked towards completing tasks relating to the days lecture. The accumulation of these tasks went towards presenting a hand drawn poster on the last day to the government officials (the spring school teachers). Each poster was assessed for its technical content but also its design. This helped to instil a great sense of teamwork between the students within their groups but interestingly between groups with the competitive yet fun atmosphere it created.
Finally the teams had to propose a communication strategy for their chosen CCS storage project. Lectures on the current situation of the public perspective of CCS technologies along with information on occurrence of naturally occurring CO2 sites such as at Latera, Italy, and Maria Laach, Germany, helped to emphasise problems that scientists encounter. During a role play exercise, the importance of communicating effectively to different audiences was discussed. It was emphasised that information should always be factually correct and allow everyone to make up their own minds about CCS.
The school also visited the proposed storage site and pilot injection site as part of the PGE Bełchatów CCS demo project.
The poster competition was won by ‘Clean Earth Consortium’, comprising of Gemma Purser (BGS, UK), Luca Mancinelli (Trinity College, Dublin), Lukasz Klimkowski (AGH university of Science and Technology, Kraków), Tanja Tajnik (Biotechnical Faculty IOP Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Veronika Vrbova (Waste Disposal Department NRI Rez plc, Czech replublic). Winners received a copy of the Best Practice for the Storage of CO2 in Aquifers amongst other prizes. Every student also received a certificate of participation along with information packs provided by ZEP.
The Spring School aimed to bring together early career researchers and share knowledge and learning between different organisations. The course was well run and is recommended to anyone who wants to find out more about CCS.
Posted on Thursday 28th June 2012