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July 10: Mitchell Small Presents New CO2 Research to Australian Scientists


Chriss Swaney                   

Carnegie Mellon's Mitchell Small Presents 
New CO2 Research to Australian Scientists

Mitchell SmallPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Mitchell J. Small is scheduled to speak July 29 to more than 100 Australian scientists about how to detect costly leaks at sites where carbon dioxide is buried deep beneath the earth's surface.
Small, the H. John Heinz III Professor of Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon, has a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop methods for detecting leaks that might occur, their location and size. These methods are essential for verifying that CO2 is being safely sequestered at a site.
"I am collaborating with researchers from our National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) and West Virginia University as we seek to interpret results from a number of novel detection technologies now being tested and deployed," said Small, who will address researchers at the Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies in Canberra City, Australia. 
Each year, the U.S. electricity industry collectively emits 2.5 billion tons of CO2, which plays a leading role in climate change. While the ultimate objective is to convert to energy sources that do not emit CO2, this will take many years, and measures are needed now to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
"CO2 sequestrations in deep geologic formations is being studied as a short-to-medium term solution in a number of countries, such as Norway and Australia," Small said.
Small noted that the Australians are the furthest along in developing CO2 sequestration sites for full-scale testing, and are eager to collaborate with Carnegie Mellon, West Virginia University and NETL teams in developing advanced monitoring technologies and statistical methods to assure that the CO2 that is pumped underground does not return to the atmosphere.

Pictured above is Mitchell Small.