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KOREA INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE AND MINERAL RESOURCES
THE WORLD'S LEADING RESEARCH
INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE

R&D Division

  • Center for Deep Subsurface Research
  • Center for CO2 Geological Storage
  • Center for HLW Geological Disposal
  • Center for Carbon Mineralization

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION
AND SUSTAINABILITY
DIVISION

The research and innovation activities of the Climate Change Mitigation and Sustainability Division are focused on protecting the environment and securing the sustainability of the earth using geoscience knowledge and technology. Our research topics include greenhouse gas reduction using geological sequestration of CO2 and carbon mineralization, and also geothermal power generation and energy storage to effectively reduce CO2 emissions. The geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) is another key issue to resolve for the sake of securing a sustainable future society. Most of these topics require the development of novel technologies for the specification and utilization of deep subsurface down to 5 km, representing a basic research area of the division.

Center for Deep Subsurface Research

The Center for Deep Subsurface Research has been aiming to develop core technologies related to safe, preservative development and utilization of underground spaces and geothermal resources for securing the environment and sustainability. Especially, unlike the shallow geological environment, the deep subsurface has complex interactions due to extreme conditions such as high temperature and high pressure. So we are carrying out multidisciplinary and integrated R&D activities related to the deep subsurface. This requires cutting edge technologies, since work with the deep substructure involves difficulties in data acquisition and uncertainties due to its limited accessibility. Through this, we are striving to develop unique, world-leading technologies necessary for eco-friendly, sustainable development of the deep subsurface, and to build relevant infrastructure up to 5km in depth.

Main Activities
  • Development of core technologies for underground energy storage systems for requirements such as LNG, compressed air, thermal energy and so on
  • Characterization of the deep geosystem and T-H-M coupled analysis related to the underground utilization and development of geo-resources
  • Compilation of geothermal property maps and assessment of geothermal potential in Korea
  • Exploration and exploitation of high temperature geothermal energy in deep geothermal reservoirs
  • Laboratory rock test system certified by KOLAS
Center for CO2 Geological Storage

Center for CO2 Geological Storage aims to conduct fundamental research on geological storage of CO2 and to develop key technologies for ensuring safe, cost-effective and large-scale application. Fundamental research focuses on geological characterization and storage capacity assessment at a site-scale, for enabling large-scale storage of CO2 in offshore areas of Korea. A number of researches, based on lab and field-scale experiments, have been carried out to find methods that overcome technical barriers to realize largescale offshore CO2 storage projects. A pilot-scale field site was constructed in Pohang area to carry out trial runs of small-scale CO2 injection and monitoring methods through 2018-2019.

Main Activities
  • Development of site selection and characterization method
  • Storage capacity assessment of possible large-scale CO2 storage sites offshore Korea
  • Development of CO2 core-flooding system
  • Development of VSP/ERT/micro-seismic monitoring technologies
  • Monitoring and evaluation of underground CO2 behavior
  • Pilot test of CO2 injection and monitoring technology
Center for HLW Geological Disposal

The Center for HLW Geological Disposal focuses on securing the safety of geological disposal of high level radioactive waste (HLW). The efforts involve research in all fields of geological environment. We produce and verify nation-wide geoenvironmental maps, which can be used as basic information for site-selection of HLW geological disposal. Also, we are engaged in research to develop procedures for investigation and evaluation of candidate sites for HLW geological disposal. Another topic of research is various technologies on conceptual design for an Underground Research Laboratory (URL).

Main Activities
  • Publications of nation-wide geoenvironmental maps
  • Verification system for geoenvironmental information
  • Establishment of investigation and evaluation procedures
  • Conceptual design for an Underground Research Laboratory (URL)
Center for Carbon Mineralization

The Center for Carbon Mineralization has developed technologies that can simultaneously process various inorganic industrial by-products and emitted CO2 based on the world's highest level of mineral carbonation technology. The center also promotes the commercialization of related technologies. The main research contents are the utilization of mineral carbonation and the convergence of municipal and industrial waste such as coal fly ash and slag. We are also carrying out research on high value-added minerals through the development of CO2 utilization and mitigation technology using middle and low-grade minerals. This convergence commercialization project will be promoted to developing countries through the linkage of carbon mineralization technology with CTCN.

Main Activities
  • Development of mineral carbonation and appropriate applied technologies using natural minerals and rocks
  • Development of mineral carbonation technologies using industrial by-products such as slag and waste rock
  • Development of technologies for manufacturing high value-added carbonate minerals with various morphologies such as square, needle shaped, and nano whiskers
  • Development of low-carbon, highly-functional green cement using industrial byproducts such as coal ash residues
  • Establishing a number of national and international networks for the commercialization of appropriate technologies for mitigating climate change
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