IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.
IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide, is an environmental non-government organization committed to providing independent risk assessments to governments, industry and the public. The secretariat or administrative offices are located at the University of Regina and IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. has established a global network of regional centres in eight countries on six continents.
Find locations served, office locations
- Business Type:
- Research institute
- Industry Type:
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
- $10,000,000 US - $100,000,000 US
IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide, is an environmental non-government organization (ENGO) created to provide independent risk and performance assessments of CO2 storage projects. IPAC-CO2 develops standards and best practices, conducts applied research and works with communities, government, and industry leaders to provide confidence in the safe geologic storage of carbon dioxide.
Independent Risk Identification, Analysis and Mitigation
IPAC-CO2 works constructively with CCS project proponents of, regulators for, and communities in which the geologic storage of carbon dioxide is to take place. We apply the world’s first standard for geologic storage of carbon dioxide which we developed in collaboration with CSA Group (previously called the Canadian Standards Association) to conduct the independent identification, analysis and mitigation of risks associated with such developments.
IPAC-CO2 is developing guidelines for CO2 storage as a component of the CO2 enhanced oil recovery operations. The guidelines will also address the challenges involved in the transition from CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) to Pure CO2 Storage (CO2-EOR to CO2-Storage) operations.
IPAC-CO2 has also worked with a Canadian provincial government to establish interim regulations for capture and storage projects and has helped them in pushing forward their CCS agenda.
Public Education and Public Trust
CCS projects require the public’s trust. IPAC-CO2 has conducted four public opinion surveys since 2011 to understand the public awareness and acceptance of carbon capture and storage as well as the levels of concern about climate change.
Survey results help shape IPAC-CO2’s strategy for engaging its key audiences in discussions about the capture and storage of carbon dioxide while taking a neutral policy stand.
Expertise and Experience
IPAC-CO2 is fortunate to be based in Saskatchewan, an environment rich with CCS experience and expertise. The University of Regina has conducted applied CCS research for more than two decades. The Weyburn-Midale project, considered the world’s largest and oldest CCS project, is about an hour’s drive from our offices. A little further south is the world’s newest, fully-integrated CCS project being built by Saskatchewan Power Corporation at its Boundary Dam facility. So, in association with the other key provincial CCS players, this gives IPAC-CO2’s team of CO2 storage experts the unique opportunity of being able to combine field experience with critical academic research.
About CO2 Storage
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a clean development mechanism that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by capturing CO2 from large industrial facilities and storing it safely underground.
Follow the links to learn more about Climate Change, the processes of CO2 Capture and Storage, and how CCS is a valuable part of the solution to Climate Change.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a clean development technology that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by capturing CO2 from large industrial facilities such as fossil fuel power plants and storing it safely underground.
CCS has three key components:
- The CO2 capture process.
- The safe transportation of the CO2 to a storage site, and
- The safe, long-term storage of CO2 in the Earth’s subsurface.
In order to ensure that the potential risks involved with each of these three components are managed effectively, appropriate guidelines and standards must be in place.
IPAC-CO2 has taken the lead in managing these potential risks by developing the world’s first standard for the geologic storage of CO2.
Only once the appropriate standards and guidelines are established can real progress be made towards implementing CCS on a global scale.
CCS and Climate Change
CCS and Climate Change
There is now consensus in the scientific community that human activities are disturbing the planet’s carbon cycle.
The burning of fossil fuels for power generation, heating, industrial activity and transportation has raised the level of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere to unprecedented levels.
Excess CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, causing the world’s climate to change dramatically. The CO2 emitted into the atmosphere traps the sun’s heat, causing the earth’s surface to grow increasingly warmer.
The CCS Solution
The CCS Solution
Action must be taken to stop the rising levels of anthropogenic CO2. The International Energy Association (IEA) estimates that a 50% reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 will still lead to a 2-3 degree increase in average global temperatures.
Unless this increase in temperature is mitigated, there will be irreversible climate change.
Preventing these consequences requires a combination of improvements in energy efficiency, a marked increase in the use of renewable energy sources and clean development mechanisms such as Carbon Capture and Storage.
Intensive efforts are underway to counteract the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment, while preparing for a carbon reduced future.
IPAC-CO2 recognizes the need to continue the use of fossil fuels for energy production and economic development, and believes that CCS is a safe, effective, and environmentally responsible way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to use fossil fuel energy.
CCS is a practical, cost-effective bridging strategy that addresses the continued need for fossil fuels while allowing for the development of a sustainable energy future.
Scientists estimate that CCS can account for 19%, or almost one in every five metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that are targeted for elimination by 2040.
In other words, the amount of carbon dioxide eliminated during that time period would be equal to the global fossil fuel industry, or some 100 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Carbon, originally extracted from the ground as gas, oil and coal is injected into deep geological formations, such as unmineable coal seams, depleted oil reservoirs, and other porous rock formations, in the form of condensed, supercritical CO2. Following its capture, large volumes of CO2 are compressed and injected deep underground in secure geological formations where it is permanently stored.
The process starts with the capture of CO2 generated by power plants and large-scale industrial facilities.
The CO2 Capture process is done using one of these three different methods of combustion:
- Pre-combustion: carbon and hydrogen in fuels are separated before they are burned, transforming into two gas streams—hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
- Post-combustion: the most commonly used process. A solvent, usually ammonia, is used to separate CO2 from other gases after the combustion of a fossil fuel.
- Oxy-fuel combustion: consists of the burning of a fossil fuel in the presence of pure oxygen. This removes contaminants from the exhaust, making the CO2 easier to capture.
The transportation process starts once the CO2 is separated from other gases.
The captured CO2 is dehydrated and compressed into a dense liquid substance, or supercritical fluid, making it easier and less costly to transport. Then, it is transported by pipelines to the storage location where it is injected into a suitable geological formation.
Smaller quantities of CO2 are transported by road tanker, rail tankers and ships, primarily for industrial use or enhanced oil and gas recovery.
All methods of transportation have been used in different CCS projects around the world and are well understood from decades of experience.
The storage of CO2 underground is a natural occurring phenomenon. Some natural CO2 reservoirs are thousands or millions of years old. There are hundreds of natural gas storage sites worldwide.
The industrial process begins with the pumping of CO2 under high pressure into an underground reservoir with specific geological features. A layer of stable porous rock at the correct depth, between 1 and 5 kilometers, is required for a suitable reservoir. An impermeable layer of “cap” rock seals the porous layer preventing leakage to the surface. The rock formations act as secure, natural traps to hold the gases and liquids deep underground, whether on land or at sea.
Every CO2 geological site is unique in terms of geology and structure. Three types of potential storage sites include:
- Depleted oil and gas reservoirs;
- Deep saline formations, and;
- Unmineable coal seams.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the world has storage capacity for 200 years of global emissions.
Development of storage projects is typically conducted in 4 or 5 stages.
Site selection and development commences with geological characterization, reservoir simulation, and well engineering and monitoring.
During the operational phase, gas is injected while monitoring continues.
At closure and post-closure, all field facilities are closed and monitoring continues.