Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies have long been a Holy Grail of the climate change mitigation community, as such technologies would theoretically allow humans to avoid the warming associated with greenhouse gas emissions without the urgent need to avoid high-emission activities. However, substantial roadblocks in cost and scalability have thus far limited CCUS implementations to the experimental realm. Now, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Stanford University and French oil and gas multinational Total are releasing a high-performance simulation tool for large-scale carbon storage.
“We are excited to be working with Stanford and Total to support widespread deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects,” said Pat Falcone, deputy director for science and technology at LLNL. “Climate change is a global challenge, and we view CCUS as a critical component in the transition to a low-carbon economy. It also is thrilling to observe the cutting-edge capabilities being enabled by our next-generation supercomputing platforms and gratifying to have created this new capability as a part of such an effective industry, university, national laboratory partnership.”
The simulator, called GEOSX, is tool that simulates geological storage of carbon dioxide – a technique whereby CO2 from a point source (like a power plant) is captured and injected into rock structures deep underground to prevent it from entering the atmosphere. The simulator, designed for HPC systems, simulates the gases’ complex flows in order to model the behavior and impact of that subterranean CO2, helping improve the planning and management of scaled-up carbon storage.
“GEOSX combines breakthrough scientific computing and high-performance technologies that will allow Total and the community to accelerate the implementation of future large-scale storage projects, necessary to achieve carbon neutrality objectives on a global scale,” said Hamdi Tchelepi, lead research scientist for the project and chair of the Energy Resources Engineering Department at Stanford. “The innovations resulting from our joint research program open the door to a new era for the modeling of geological storage of CO2.”
GEOSX, which is the product of two years of joint research, is open-source and can be accessed here.
“We are proud of the development of GEOSX, the first tool able to simulate the geological storage of CO2 at this scale. Making its source code openly available is intended to offer researchers around the world the opportunity to participate in the development of CCUS, for which Total has been mobilizing significant resources for several years,” said Marie-Noëlle Semeria, CTO of Total. “GEOSX brings us closer to the position of technological leadership that we are seeking to achieve throughout the CCUS chain, in line with our ambition to get to net zero by 2050.”