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Study suggests using CO2 to produce geothermal energy could help reach net-zero emissions

Written by Jordan Smith

Edited by Lisa Iscrupe

Last updated 02/10/2022

natmint/iStock/Getty Images

New findings are welcome news for oil and gas operators looking to offset greenhouse gas emissions. A recent study from the University of Alberta found that carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from fossil fuel plants could produce geothermal energy. This procedure is known as CO2-Plume Geothermal (CPG).

The site where the tests were conducted is called Aquistore. It is an underground reservoir containing CO2 in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

The feasibility study examined whether engineers could inject CO2 into an underground well to extract heat. Researchers looked at injecting the CO2 to a depth of 3,400 meters. The carbon would then collect heat due to the high underground temperature before returning to the surface. Engineers could extract the geothermal energy and then recycle the CO2 back underground to repeat the process.

“The other excitement is about the fact that with carbon dioxide, you can go to shallower reservoirs and expand the viability of geothermal resources; you don’t necessarily need to drill very deep wells,” comments Alireez Rangriz Shokri, who participated in the research. 

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