More and more governments are taking on the challenge of reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But keeping global warming in check is likely to require carbon being removed from the atmosphere and stored safely.
Ruotong Huang is exploring that challenge in sandstone, making use of the tiny pores inside layers of rock deep underground to store carbon dioxide. During her PhD research, within the Materials Physics Department and the M3D Training Centre, she has found that in deep enough layers the pressure keeps carbon dioxide in the supercritical liquid state, wherein it will dissolve into brine in the pores – effectively making carbonated mineral water.
The study is made possible by micro CT techniques pioneered within the Materials Physics Department, which give resolution more than 100 times better than conventional medical CT scans, and allow the pores within in small cores of sandstone to be revealed and mapped in detail, along with their contents – gas, rock or liquid.
Ms Huang's research is published in Advances in Water Resources https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2022.104338