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Title: Coupled Geochemical Impacts of Leaking CO2 and Contaminants from Subsurface Storage Reservoirs on Groundwater Quality

The leakage of CO2 and the concomitant saline solutions from deep storage reservoirs to overlying groundwater aquifers is considered one of the major potential risks associated with geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS). Batch and column experiments were conducted to determine the fate of trace metals in groundwater in the scenarios of CO2 and metal contaminated brine leakage. The sediments used in this work were collected from an unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifer in Kansas, and contained 0-4 wt% carbonates. Cd and As were spiked into the reaction system to represent potential contaminants from the reservoir brine that could intrude into groundwater aquifers with leaking CO2 at initial concentrations of 114 and 40 ppb, respectively. Through this research we demonstrated that Cd and As were adsorbed on the sediments, in spite of the lowered pH due to CO2 dissolution in the groundwater. Cd concentrations were well below its MCL in both batch and column studies, even for sediment samples without detectable carbonate to buffer the pH. Arsenic concentrations in the effluent were also significantly lower than influent concentration, suggesting that the sediments tested have the capacity to mitigate the coupled adverse effects of CO2 leakage and brine intrusion. However, the mitigation capacitymore » of sediment is a function of its geochemical properties [e.g., the calcite content; the presence of adsorbed As(III); and the presence of P in the natural sediment]. The competitive adsorption between phosphate and arsenate may result in higher concentrations of As in the aqueous phase.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Environmental Science & Technology, 49(13):8202-8209
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
geological CO2 sequestration, groundwater quality, trace metals, risk assessment