Feasibility study of storing CO2 in the ocean by marine environmental impact assessment

Da Hee Jung, Gyeol Ko, Jin Su Kwak, Do Yun Kim, Seul Gi Jeon, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since the industrial revolution, which was accompanied with the use of fossil fuels as an energy source, the content of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased. To mitigate global warming, industries that utilize fossil fuels have continuously explored new approaches to reduce CO2 emissions and convert it to alternative fuels. The ocean is a vast source of absorbed CO2 on Earth, and various studies have been conducted on the use of the ocean to reduce global CO2. This study focused on reducing CO2 in the atmosphere by storing it as bicarbonate, a form of CO2 that exists in the ocean. The optimum condition for the conversion of CO2 into bicarbonate was investigated by considering the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC; HCO3, CO32−, H2CO3) concentration and pH. To confirm the biological impact of this conversion, biological impact experiments were conducted under various DIC concentrations using Skeletonema japonicum, a phytoplankton present in most areas of the sea. Based on the DIC concentration (2.09 mM) of the seawater, the DIC concentrations used in the Lab-scale experiment ranged from 2.5 mM to 18.75 mM, and the concentration with the highest conversion rate (< 6.38 mM) was applied in the pilot plant. Marine environmental impact modeling was performed to observe the effect of discharge to the ocean and its movement. The results revealed a slight growth inhibition of phytoplankton at DIC concentrations higher than the base concentration. Nevertheless, the change in the DIC concentration exerted no effect on the phytoplankton growth except at extremely high concentrations. Moreover, the high DIC concentration can be diluted by the ocean current flow rate, thus counterbalancing the growth inhibition effect. The results obtained in this study demonstrate the feasibility of CO2 storage in the form of DIC, and will be helpful for further development of CO2 mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166270
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 10

Bibliographical note

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  • Dissolved inorganic carbon
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Environmental impact modeling
  • Photosynthesis
  • Phytoplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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