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Australia MAINTENANCE. "There is no risk in reinjecting CO2 at a depth of more than a kilometer"

21:40  19 october  2020
21:40  19 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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David Nevicato dirige la recherche sur le captage et le stockage du CO2 au sein du groupe Total. © TOTAL David Nevicato directs research on CO2 capture and storage within the Total group.

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The Total group invests heavily in the capture and neutralization of CO2. David Nevicato, who is leading research on this subject within the group, believes the storage technology is secure. And that it is not to do so that would be dangerous. Interview.

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Total is increasing the number of announcements concerning carbon capture, storage and recovery. Is this an important issue for the group?

Indeed. Total devotes 10% of its research and development budget to this, or 85 million euros per year. We believe that in addition to reducing our emissions, these technologies are of major importance in enabling it to achieve its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 in Europe.

Is the CO2 capture of large factories efficient?

It consumes energy, but we recover 9 times more CO2 than we emit. So that's very positive.

What to do with the captured CO2?

There are many possible uses but all of them are currently too energy intensive, with the exception of its incorporation into cement, as practiced by the start-up Solidia, in which Total has invested alongside Lafarge- Holcim.

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There are many problems which threaten our natural environment. Many animals suffer from illegal hunting. Some man-made accidents threaten wildlife and the ecosystem. Trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide ( CO 2 ) from the Earth’s atmosphere, so __(5)__ trees mean higher levels of CO 2 .

Most of those emissions come from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas [1, 2]. Using more renewable energy can lower the prices of and demand for natural gas and coal by increasing competition and diversifying our energy supplies.

However, the main outlet for captured CO2 to date remains geological storage. Why ?

For economic reasons. The injection of CO2 into hydrocarbon reservoirs is practiced in the United States because it optimizes their efficiency. And industries that capture CO2 benefit from tax incentives. In Norway, where Total is investing in the Northern Lights project with Shell and Equinor, the government is partially financing this project for the first commercial chain of CO2 capture and storage. The storage is an underwater salt reservoir that will receive CO2 from multiple industrial emitters in Norway and also other countries.

It must be borne in mind that today the stored CO2 is not a raw material that has a value.

What is the most advanced European CCUS project at Total?

This is a unit for the production of hydrogen from natural gas at the Zeeland refinery in the Netherlands, in association with Lukoil. Total is also involved in several projects in the United Kingdom and Belgium.

And in France?

In addition to the first European demonstrator developed at Lacq, we are participating in the demonstration project with IFP-EN, Axens and ArcelorMittal, on a new technology developed by IFP-EN for capturing CO2 from a blast furnace from ArcelorMittal to Dunkirk, with storage in the North Sea. It is funded by Europe, Ademe and the Future Investments Program.

But is it reasonable to bury all that carbon?

There is no risk in reinjecting CO2 more than a kilometer deep, into reservoirs that have contained natural gas or into saline cavities which are also sealed. And that is the only way, along with storing plants, to neutralize the carbon that will remain in emissions, and then, then, to lower the level of carbon in the air. What would be scary is not to store the CO2 ...

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