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Technology development for CO2 capture and the potential for geological storage

Published: 21 January 2021

Within the project INSURANCE (Utilization of industrial residues for an efficient geological BECCS) we develop a more energy effective technology for capturing biogenic carbon dioxide from the industry for later storage in the Swedish bedrock. The project builds on the BECCS technology (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage) which is one of the technologies that IPCC, EU and the Swedish government points out as critical for how Sweden should reach the climate goals regarding net zero and negative emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.

Within the project INSURANCE (Utilization of industrial residues for an efficient geological BECCS) we develop a more energy effective technology for capturing biogenic carbon dioxide from the industry for later storage in the Swedish bedrock. The project builds on the BECCS technology (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage) which is one of the technologies that IPCC, EU and the Swedish government points out as critical for how Sweden should reach the climate goals regarding net zero and negative emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.

Basalt from Iceland. Photo: Creative commons
Basalt from Iceland. The lighter minerals in the center of the image are calcite that was formed from injected carbon dioxide in the bedrock. Photo: Creative commons

Today it is still cheaper for the industry to emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere compared to capturing the gas and later store it. One of the more expensive steps in BECCS is the separation of carbon dioxide from the industry effluent gases. Within the project, we therefore develop a capturing technology that is expected to be more energy efficient and thereby cheaper. The novelty of the project is that we use industry internal by-products to capture the carbon dioxide and that we for the first time investigate the potential for land-based geological storage of carbon dioxide in Sweden.

Discussions about storage of carbon dioxide in the bedrock often focus on storage in marine environment, deep under the ocean floor. One alternative to this type of storage has been tested in Iceland where they have shown good results when injecting the carbon dioxide together with water in volcanic rocks of basaltic character instead of sedimentary rocks. In Sweden there are also plenty of basaltic rocks, but these rocks are much older than the Icelandic ones. We now want to investigate whether the Swedish basalts are suitable for carbon dioxide storage.

Billerud Korsnäs

The packaging company BillerudKorsnäs is part of the project and their facility in Karlsborg, Kalix, will be the main test site for the project but we will also perform geological sampling in ten sites in Sweden, all coupled to major paper- and pulp industry.

The project is funded within the climate initiative Industriklivet, through the Swedish Energy Agency, 2020-2024.

Energimyndigheten ENG

The research group is made up by Glenn Bark, senior lecturer in ore geology and project manager, Christina Wanhainen, professor in ore geology, Emelie Crafoord, PhD student in ore geology, Paul Christakopoulos, professor in biochemical process engineering,  Ulrika Rova, professor in biochemical process engineering, Io Antonopoulou, associate senior lecturer in biochemical process engineering, Ayanne De Oliveira Maciel, PhD student in biochemical process engineering and David Nilsson manager process development BillerudKorsnäs (David.Nilsson@billerudkorsnas.com).

In the media:

Glenn Bark

Glenn Bark, Senior Lecturer

Phone: +46 (0)920 491039
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Christina Wanhainen

Christina Wanhainen, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 492401
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Emelie Crafoord

Emelie Crafoord, PhD Student

Phone: +46 (0)920 491617
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Paul Christakopoulos

Paul Christakopoulos, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 492510
Organisation: Biochemical Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Ulrika Rova

Ulrika Rova, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491315
Organisation: Biochemical Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Io Antonopoulou

Io Antonopoulou, Associate Senior Lecturer

Phone: +46 (0)920 493453
Organisation: Biochemical Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

Ayanne De Oliveira Maciel, PhD Student

Organisation: Biochemical Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering