Status of Development - Ocean Sequestration

To date, injection of CO2 into sea water has only been investigated in the laboratory, in small-scale in-situ experiments, and in models. Larger-scale in-situ experiments have not yet been carried out. Plans to carry out large scale experiments have failed since scientists can not get a permit from the pollution control authorities and environment ministries for carrying out such an experiment.

An international consortium involving engineers, oceanographers and ecologists from 15 institutions in the United States, Norway, Japan and Canada proposed an in-situ experiment to help evaluate the feasibility of ocean carbon storage as a means of mitigating atmospheric increases. This was to be a collaborative study of the physical, chemical, and biological changes associated with direct injection of CO2 into the ocean. The proposed CO2 Ocean Sequestration Field Experiment was to inject less than 60 tons of pure liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) into the deep ocean near Keahole Point on the Kona coast of the Island of Hawaii.

This would have been the largest intentional CO2 release into the ocean water column. The test took place in water about 800 m deep, over a period of about two weeks during the summer of 2001. Total project cost was to have been roughly US$ 5 million. A small steel pipeline, about 4 cm in diameter, was to have been deployed from a ship down to the injection depth, with a short section of pipeline resting on the sea floor to facilitate data collection. The liquid CO2 was to have been dispersed through a nozzle, with CO2 droplets briefly ascending from the injection point while dissolving into the sea water. However, the project met with opposition from environmental organizations and was never able to acquire all of the necessary permits within the prescribed budget and schedule (de Figueiredo, 2002)

Several smaller scale scientific experiments (less than 100 litres of CO2) have however been executed and the necessary permits have also been issued for experiments within a marine sanctuary.
Ocean sequestration:
Status of Ocean sequestration


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