The €2m project, the only of its kind in Europe, will see research teams from Wales, Germany and Poland collaborate on the development of the Experimental Mine "Barbara" to explore the feasibility of injecting carbon dioxide underground.
A horizontal well system will be installed at approximately 50m below the surface at the facility, enabling the team to pump between 1 and 10 tonnes of CO2 into the coal seam.
"This project is an excellent opportunity to take our research from the lab into a full-scale demonstration test site," said principal investigator on the project Professor Hywel Thomas, from Cardiff University's School of Engineering.
"The existing network of underground tunnels in the experimental mine provides easy access to the targeted coal-seam and therefore does not require any vertical drilling. It is also well equipped with a system of pipelines that allow direct and safe supply of gas to the working area of the coal deposit."
The in-situ tests will aim to overcome practical limitations and increase the amount of gas stored in coal reserves, while also undertaking a comprehensive cost analysis and environmental risk assessment.
The team will also select a potential large-scale commercial site for implementing the technology complying with the EU's Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Directive.
"Our overall aim is to explore the effectiveness of a novel injection system to improve the rate of CO2 injection and storage, which will ultimately lead to new best practices for commercial application," continued Professor Thomas.
"As many European regions have significant rich coal deposits, partnerships such as this can play a pivotal role in meeting the EU's carbon emission reduction targets."
The project, entitled 'Establishing a Research Observatory to unlock European Coal seams for Carbon dioxide Storage' (ROCCS), will run for three years, starting in September this year 2020.