News / Asia

Australia Claims Carbon Storage Breakthrough

Smoke bellows out of chimney stacks at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, (File)
Smoke bellows out of chimney stacks at BlueScope Steel's steelworks at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Australia, (File)

Scientists in Australia working on a project to store carbon say they can prove their technology works and is safe.  Still, critics say the trial was too small to be decisive. 

The scientists working on the carbon sponge project west of Melbourne say that after three and a half years of study, they can now prove that this type of carbon sequestration can work safely.

In March 2008, they began injecting carbon dioxide deep underground near the coastal town Warrnambool in the southern state, Victoria.  They have been pumping 65,000 tons of CO2-rich gas into a depleted natural gas reservoir, some two kilometers underground.

The team from Australia’s government-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization say there were no signs that carbon dioxide had leaked from its the sealed underground chamber.  

Research scientist Charles Jenkins says the process could have a dramatic effect on reducing global greenhouse gas pollution.

“There's a lot of these depleted gas fields that are ideally placed for that. The estimates are that after 2050 you could probably get rid of about two-thirds of the carbon dioxide that's being produced by these big sources," he stated. "So globally it's a very, very significant resource for us.”

Yet despite this optimism, critics have yet to be convinced.  They believe the process of storing carbon dioxide underground on any large scale is still too expensive and unreliable.

Arthur Williamson, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, says the Australian survey is not conclusive.

“They have managed to make it work for a short time, on a small scale, in a particular gas field,” he said.

However, proponents of this type of sequestration insist that Australia will not be able to effectively reduce its carbon emissions without the technology.

The process of storing carbon dioxide from power generation and other industrial processes underground was recognized at this month’s climate conference in the South African city, Durban, as a clean development technology.

Australian scientists believe that the capture and storage of CO2 from commercial power stations could be viable by 2020.

Australia is one of the world’s worst per capita producers of gases that many researchers blame for warming temperatures.  Farmers and conservative politicians believe that man’s use of fossil fuels is having a negligible effect on the Earth’s climate.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid