Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Ocean Chemistry of Greenhouse Gases
SCIENCE Paper Highlights

Direct Experiments on the Ocean Disposal of Fossil Fuel CO2

Peter G. Brewer¹, Gernot Friederich¹, Edward T. Peltzer¹ & Franklin M. Orr, Jr² .

¹: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
²: Stanford University

SCIENCE 284: 943-945 (1999).

This web-page contains images and video related to our paper published in Science. The material presented here focuses on the deep ocean release experiment conducted at a depth of 3627 m in Monterey Bay. This experiment was the culmination of a series of trials conducted at increasing depths which were undertaken to test various ideas concerning the deep ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide in a real-world environment.

Our experiments were conducted using ships and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institue (MBARI). For the shallow experiments at 349 m, 430 m and 905 m, we used the ROV Ventana deployed from the R/V Point Lobos. For the deep ocean release experiment at 3627 m, we used the ROV Tiburon deployed from the R/V Western Flyer.

Hardware Physical Chemistry
Still Images Frame-by-frame Spillover
  • Background information -- the hardware:
  • ROV Tiburon onboard the R/V Western Flyer.
    Schematic diagram of the cylinder used to dispense liquid CO2.
    View of the accumulator cylinder attached to ROV Tiburon prior to filling.
    Gernot Friederich transfering liquid CO2 to the accumulator cylinder.
    Close-up of the accumulator cylinder packed in ice during the filling operation.


  • Background information -- physical chemistry:
  • Carbon Dioxide Phase Diagram
    Density of Carbon Dioxide at Pressure


  • Still images from the experiments:
  • Close-up of CO2 gas - hydrate formation at 349 m.
    Close-up of CO2 liquid - hydrate formation at 905 m.
    Our deep ocean release apparatus on the bottom at 3627 m.
    Adding liquid CO2 "dropwise" to the 4L beaker.
    Within an hour the liquid CO2 rose to the top of the beaker.
    The level of liquid CO2 also rose in the open cylinder.
    A large Pacific grenadier fish Coryphaenoides acrolepsis swam by.
    And later, so did a brightly colored sea-cucumber Peniagone leander.


  • Frame-by-frame images of the spillovers:
    • A series of frame-grabs of the liquid CO2 spillover from the 4L beaker:
    • A series of frame-grabs of the liquid CO2 spillover from the open cylinder:

For more information, contact: Peter G. Brewer, Gernot Friederich, Edward T. Peltzer or Franklin M. Orr, Jr.

Last updated: Feb. 23, 2012