Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the process of capturing the CO2 emissions produced in the generation of electricity from fossil fuels, and then burying the captured CO2 underground. I am involved in several CCS projects.
The first, is through involvement in the project, an EU funded consortium across 12 Universities. In Nottingham, we are responsible for the uncertainty quantification. The main question we wish to answer, is given that the geology of the underlying bedrock is unknown, what do we believe the likely distribution is for how the buried CO2 will permeate through the bedrock? This involves building Gaussian process emulators of complex ground water flow models. The dimension of the input and outputs to this simulator can be very high (d=105 is typical), and so we are investigating dimension reduction techniques for accurately capturing the simulator behaviour.
The second CCS project is looking at modelling impure CO2 properties, which is important in the transport of CO2. This ranges from training empirical parametric models, to non-parametric Gaussian process models where we allow the functional form of the model to arise from the data itself, rather than being postulated in advance.
Finally, we have been looking at ab-initio molecular simulation. A particular feature of our approach is to integrate techniques across different length scales, aiming to produce highly tractable models that are informed by the more expensive molecular techniques.
We have been using Gaussian processes to feed information about the molecular interactions from techniques in computational chemistry calculations into the simulation. Ultimately, we hope this will lead to completely ab-initio computation of physical properties.