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Carbon capture and storage: Carbon dioxide pressure dissipates in underground reservoirs
Date:3/22/2011

The debate surrounding carbon capture and storage intensifies as scientists from the Earth Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) examine the capacity for storing carbon dioxide underground, in a study published today in the new journal Greenhouse Gases: Science & Technology.

The study debates some of the conclusions drawn in an earlier study by Ehlig-Economides and Economides1, countering their claims that carbon dioxide cannot feasibly be stored underground. These earlier findings, according to the Berkeley Lab researchers, only considered closed-system subsurface formations, with limited mechanisms for relieving the pressure.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is controversial in the eyes of the general public. Pressure build-up in the subsurface induced by the injection of carbon dioxide from industrial-scale projects is a key constraint for the amount of carbon dioxide that can be safely stored underground.

In their paper, the Berkeley Lab researchers considered a full-scale deployment scenario in which enough carbon dioxide is stored to make relevant contributions to climate change mitigation. Modeling studies illustrating the scale and magnitude of pressure build-up are presented for hypothetical CCS projects in two representative basins currently being investigated for future deployment of carbon dioxide storage in the US.

According to lead researcher Dr. Quanlin Zhou, although large-scale pressure build-up may have a limiting effect on storage capacity, it is not as significant as claimed previously by Ehlig-Economides and Economides. Dr. Zhou and fellow researcher Dr. Jens Birkholzer considered three different types of storage reservoirs: closed, partially closed and open. They indicate that the storage of carbon dioxide deep underground will occur mainly in partially closed or open formations, where pressure build-up is relieved naturally by movement of native saline w
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Contact: Michelle Martella
physicalsciencenews@wiley.com
781-388-8577
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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