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Supercritical carbon dioxide

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: HBL

 Context: A new research by IIT Madras has suggested the use of Supercritical carbon dioxide to flush out oil from depleting oil and gas reservoirs.


What is Supercritical carbon dioxide?

It is a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature (31∘C) and critical pressure (73 atm).


  • Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: Having properties midway between a gas and a liquid, supercritical carbon dioxide helps in simultaneous carbon dioxide sequestration
  • Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) from depleted Oil wells: Supercritical carbon dioxide reduces oil viscosity, induces in situ swelling of the oil and thus enhances oil recovery


Method: ‘Surfactant-Alternating gas (SAG) injection’ approach: In this process, carbon dioxide gas is injected into the reservoir, where it becomes supercritical, followed by injection of water or surfactant solution.