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Increased output of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO₂), into the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources is of great concern. A potential technology to reduce CO₂ emissions is geologic carbon sequestration. This technology is currently being evaluated in the United States and throughout the world. The geology of the Illinois Basin exhibits outstanding potential as a carbon sequestration target, as demonstrated by the ongoing Illinois Basin – Decatur Project that is using the Mt. Simon Sandstone reservoir and Eau Claire Shale seal system to store and contain 1 million tonnes of CO₂. The Knox Group-Maquoketa Shale reservoir and seal system, located stratigraphically above the Mt. Simon Sandstone-Eau Claire Shale reservoir and seal system, has little economic value as a resource for fossil fuels or as a potable water source, making it ideal as a potential carbon sequestration target. In order for a reservoir-seal system to be effective, it must be able to contain the injected CO₂ without the potential for the release of harmful contaminants liberated by the reaction between CO₂-formation fluids and reservoir and seal rocks. This study examines portions of the Knox Group (Potosi Dolomite, Gunter Sandstone, New Richmond Sandstone) and St. Peter Sandstone, and Maquoketa Shale from variousmore » locations around the Illinois Basin. A total of 14 rock and fluid samples were exposed to simulated sequestration conditions (9101–9860 kPa [1320–1430 psi] and 32°–42°C [90°– 108°F]) for varying amounts of time (6 hours to 4 months). Knox Group reservoir rocks exhibited dissolution of dolomite in the presence of CO₂ as indicated by petrographic examination, X-ray diffraction analysis, and fluid chemistry analysis. These reactions equilibrated rapidly, and geochemical modeling confirmed that these reactions reached equilibrium within the time frames of the experiments. Pre-reaction sample mineralogy and postreaction fluid geochemistry from this study suggests only limited potential for the release of United States Environmental Protection Agency regulated inorganic contaminants into potable water sources. Short-term core flood experiments further verify that the carbonate reactions occurring in Knox Group reservoir samples reach equilibrium rapidly. The core flood experiments also lend insight to pressure changes that may occur during CO₂ injection. The Maquoketa Shale experiments reveal that this rock is initially chemically reactive when in contact with CO₂ and brine. However, due to the conservative nature of silicate and clay reaction kinetics and the rapid equilibration of carbonate reactions that occur in the shale, these reactions would not present a significant risk to the competency of the shale as an effective seal rock.« less
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University Of Illinois
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United States