The University of Queensland has engaged in a research program with energy storage company Bicarb Sequestration to study the feasibility of using land-bound salt beds as a medium for isolating and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) as solid carbonates and bicarbonates underground. The university’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest, facilitated the contract for a chemical engineering team to spend six months on establishing the principle. According to the university, provided the initial research proves successful the research will be extended to establish the optimum operating conditions and optimum process equipment. Successful research will also allow for the preliminary design of a pilot plant to be created and initial economic analysis conducted. Bicarb Sequestration is a subsidiary of Sirius Exploration, which is a diversified mining and exploration holding company focused on salt and potash deposits in North America and Australia. Sirius chairman Richard Poulden said he remains confident about the potential outcomes of the research project. “We are naturally optimistic that the approach being proposed by our Bicarb Sequestration division will be able to overcome the issues previously encountered when research teams have looked into the possibilities of converting CO2 into carbonates in an onshore environment,” he said. “We firmly believe that we have the opportunity to identify new approaches that can complement those that have already been proven for using salt beds and caverns as mediums for serving the green energy agenda.”
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