Is this the 'cure' for global warming? Scientists flick the switch on Scottish trial that will 'bury' CO2 in seabed sediment

  • Trial begins today - 80-800kg of CO2 will be pumped into sediment every day
  • Scientists will store and then 'leak' carbon dioxide to study what would happen if pipes cracked
  • Heavy industry could store CO2 in sub-seabed reservoirs, rather than pumping it into atmosphere

Today, Ardmucknish Bay at Benderloch is testing a potentially planet-saving technology - a method to 'capture' carbon dioxide, then bury it harmlessly under the sea without altering.

It could mean heavy industry could store potentially harmful emissions in sub-seabed reservoirs, instead of pumping it into the atmosphere.

Between 80-800 kilos of carbon dioxide will be pumped into the sediment bed each day for the 30-days of the trial, which will also be visited by a team of Japanese scientists.


First experiment: The carbon project will take place near the Isle of Mull (pictured)

First experiment: The carbon project will take place near the picturesque Isle of Mull (pictured)

The Scottish Association of Marine Science and eight research partners are investigating the potential ecosystem impacts of geological carbon storage.

As part of the project the scientists will study what happens if carbon dioxide leaks from pipes or storage sites into the overlaying seabed and seawater.

Scotland has already joined other countries across the world in rolling our wind farms in a bid to move to renewable energy

Scotland has already joined other countries across the world in rolling our wind farms in a bid to move to renewable energy

They will simulate a leak by pumping carbon dioxide from gas containers based at the North Ledaig Caravan Park through a borehole to the release site around 10 metres below the seabed and 350 metres from the shore in Ardmucknish Bay.

The research is hoped to bring important information about the environmental impacts associated with carbon capture and storage. 

Between 80-800 kilos of carbon dioxide will be pumped into the sediment bed each day for the 30-days of the trial, which will also be visited by a team of Japanese scientists.

Lead scientist Dr Henrik Stahl said it was expected to take the carbon ten days from its release on Monday to reach the sediment.

Monitoring equipment will detect any impact on flora and fauna down to microbe level.

The team will then spend 90 days observing how quickly the environment recovers.

The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council of the UK.


The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now