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Title: Mobilization and Transport of Organic Compounds from Reservoir Rock and Caprock in Geological Carbon Sequestration Sites

Supercritical CO2 (scCO2) is an excellent solvent for organic compounds, including benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene, and xylene (BTEX), phenols, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Monitoring results from geological carbon sequestration (GCS) field tests has shown that organic compounds are mobilized following CO2 injection. Such results have raised concerns regarding the potential for groundwater contamination by toxic organic compounds mobilized during GCS. Knowledge of the mobilization mechanism of organic compounds and their transport and fate in the subsurface is essential for assessing risks associated with GCS. Extraction tests using scCO2 and methylene chloride (CH2Cl2) were conducted to study the mobilization of volatile organic compounds (VOCs, including BTEX), the PAH naphthalene, and n-alkanes (n-C20 – n-C30) by scCO2 from representative reservoir rock and caprock obtained from depleted oil reservoirs and coal from an enhanced coal-bed methane recovery site. More VOCs and naphthalene were extractable by scCO2 compared to the CH2Cl2 extractions, while scCO2 extractable alkane concentrations were much lower than concentrations extractable by CH2Cl2. In addition, dry scCO2 was found to extract more VOCs than water saturated scCO2, but water saturated scCO2 mobilized more naphthalene than dry scCO2. In sand column experiments, moisture content was found to have an important influence on themore » transport of the organic compounds. In dry sand columns the majority of the compounds were retained in the column except benzene and toluene. In wet sand columns the mobility of the BTEX was much higher than that of naphthalene. Based upon results determined for the reservoir rock, caprock, and coal samples studied here, the risk to aquifers from contamination by organic compounds appears to be relatively low; however, further work is necessary to fully evaluate risks from depleted oil reservoirs.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Environmental Earth Sciences, 71(9):4261-4272
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States