Melbourne team to lead international carbon capture and storage research project

The Peter Cook Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage Research at the University of Melbourne is leading a global research partnership with other eminent institutions and BHP as a sponsor to support the long-term storage of carbon dioxide in geological reservoirs.

Cambridge, Standford and Melbourne universities will share more than $3 million and work alongside BHP to improve technologies and our understanding of carbon storage in rock formations through the GeoCQuest project.

This is a key component of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that is needed to meet the world’s commitments under the COP 21 Paris agreement and to limit warming to below 2 degrees celsius.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the partnership was an opportunity to develop CO2-reducing technologies in close collaboration with one of the world’s largest resource companies.

“Collaborating with Stanford University and the University of Cambridge underpins our position as a research-intensive, world-class university,” Professor McCluskey said.

“The University of Melbourne is committed to working with key industry partners, like BHP Billiton, to tackle pressing societal issues.”

Two research groups within the Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research at the University of Melbourne – led by Professor Stephan Matthai from the Melbourne School of Engineering and Professor Ralf Haese from the Faculty of Science - will contribute to the project.

BHP Vice President of Sustainability and Climate Change Dr Fiona Wild said the research findings would be made publicly available to provide the transparency required for the broader deployment of CCS.

“We’re seeing a growing acknowledgement from industry, governments and society that to meet emissions reductions targets we are going to need to accelerate the use of this technology- we simply can’t do it without CCS,” Dr Winkelman said.

“We know CCS technology works and is proven. Our focus at BHP is therefore on how we can help make sure the world has access to the information required to make it work at scale in a cost effective and timely way.”

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