19 Sep 2008 05:09:09
Aquifer could hold Europe's emissions for 600 years
An underwater aquifer in the North Sea could store Europe's carbon emissions for the next six centuries, according to a ScottishPower-led consortium.
The group has entered the Longannet Power Station in Fife into the government competition to get approval as the first commercial scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility.
Nick Horler, ScottishPower chief executive, said that the power station was well placed to access the storage capacity of the North Sea.
He added: "It contains depleted gas fields which could be used for initial capture and an expansive under-sea aquifer which reports show has enough capacity to store all of Europe's CO2 for the next 600 years.
"It could become a hub, handling carbon emissions from all over Scotland and the North of England."
Critics of CCS, which uses chemical solvent to strip out the carbon dioxide that is then liquefied, express concern that if storage areas are not completely impermeable, the carbon dioxide could seep out and contaminate land and water.