Experiment to measure undersea CO2 impact

May 15, 2012 at 8:35 PM
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OBAN, Scotland, May 15 (UPI) -- Researchers say an experiment in Scottish waters will measure the impact of a possible leak from an undersea carbon dioxide storage site.

Capturing CO2 from power stations and burying it under the seabed is considered a possible solution to global warming. Scientists will allow CO2 to bubble through sediments from a buried pipe on the floor of a Scottish bay and monitor the area for impacts on marine life, the BBC reported Tuesday.

A number of countries are already utilizing undersea storage of CO2, although Britain is not among them.

"We want to study what happens if there is a leak from a carbon capture and storage (CCS) reservoir -- or more likely, from a fault in a pipe or at the injection site," project leader Henrik Stahl from the Scottish Marine Institute said.

In the experiment, between 170 and 1,700 pounds of CO2 per day will be released from a pipe buried about 30 feet under the sediment.

"We'll study how this affects the ecosystem, the animals and microbes living in the sediments, and how the CO2 transforms in its passage through the upper layers of the sediment," Stahl said.

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