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Title: Geochemical Impacts of Leaking CO2 from Subsurface Storage Reservoirs to an Unconfined Oxidizing Carbonate Aquifer

A series of batch and column experiments combined with solid phase characterization studies (i.e., quantitative x-ray diffraction and wet chemical extractions) were conducted to address a variety of scientific issues and evaluate the impacts of the potential leakage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from deep subsurface storage reservoirs. The main objective was to gain an understanding of how CO2 gas influences: 1) the aqueous phase pH; and 2) mobilization of major, minor, and trace elements from minerals present in an aquifer overlying potential CO2 sequestration subsurface repositories. Rocks and slightly weathered rocks representative of an unconfined, oxidizing carbonate aquifer within the continental US, i.e., the Edwards aquifer in Texas, were used in these studies. These materials were exposed to a CO2 gas stream or were leached with a CO2-saturated influent solution to simulate different CO2 gas leakage scenarios, and changes in aqueous phase pH and chemical composition were measured in the liquid samples collected at pre-determined experimental times (batch experiments) or continuously (column experiments). The results from the strong acid extraction tests confirmed that in addition to the usual elements present in most soils, rocks, and sediments, the Edward aquifer samples contain As, Cd, Pb, Cu, and occasionally Zn, which maymore » potentially be mobilized from the solid to the aqueous phase during or after exposure to CO2. The results from the batch and column experiments confirmed the release of major chemical elements into the contacting aqueous phase (such as Ca, Mg, Ba, Sr, Si, Na, and K); the mobilization and possible rapid immobilization of minor elements (such as Fe, Al, and Mn), which are able to form highly reactive secondary phases; and sporadic mobilization of only low concentrations of trace elements (such as As, Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, Mo, etc.). The results from this experimental research effort will help in developing a systematic understanding of how CO2 leakage is likely to influence pertinent geochemical processes (e.g., dissolution/precipitation, sorption/desorption) in the aquifer sediments and will support site selection, risk assessment, policy-making, and public education efforts associated with geologic carbon sequestration.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1750-5836; AA9010200
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control; Journal Volume: 44
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
CO2 gas leakage; release of major, minor and trace elements