Local families, a Disney Princess and a Marvel superhero became trainee scientists to learn how CO2 can be captured and transported from across Scotland, to storage deep below the North Sea.
We joined community organisations from around the region at Wild About Aden 2023 on July 11 and 12, at Aden Country Park in Mintlaw, close to Peterhead and St Fergus where Acorn’s onshore carbon capture and storage facilities are planned for development.
Travelling through 145million years of earth history and the formation of the layers which make up the structure of the planet, visitors learned from our Rock Doctors how resources such as Acorn’s storage sites can lock away emissions.
Our experts led participants as young as six through a tour of the geological rock formations under the North Sea, via a scenic route around the park equivalent distance to the depth at which Acorn will store CO2, starting beneath the Captain sandstone layer 2.5km below the sea bed and some 100km off the north-east coast.
With genuine samples of rock taken by drilling up to 2.8km down, they showed how porous sandstone found at the Acorn store can lock away CO2 thanks to being topped by an impermeable layer of shale caprock, similar to slate traditionally used to protect homes from rain.
Visitors also tried desktop experiments showing how CO2 is generated and emitted, learned about the molecular structure of the gas using linkable models, and viewed the history of the earth’s formation from pre-history and the days of the dinosaurs, to today - creating some prehistoric creatures of their own along the way.
They also saw first-hand how carbon capture and storage is achieved – with a range of porous and solid rocks immersed in carbonated water to illustrate how CO2 gas bubbles have a weight which sandstone retains, but rock and stone such as granite and slate cannot.
We thank the Buchan Development Partnership and the Friends of Aden for their invitation to take part in Wild About Aden, and their support during the two day event.