Carbon Storage

Mineral Carbon Sequestration

In-situ mineralization in Iceland

In-situ and Ex-situ Carbon Mineralization

C-14 Tagging of CO2 for Geologic Storage

Mineral Carbon Sequestration

CO2 mineralization, where carbon dioxide is reacted with minerals to create rock formations, offers the opportunity of permanent and safe storage on a virtually unlimited scale. Once the carbon dioxide has reacted with minerals like olivine and serpentine, it becomes part of a solid material and cannot be re-released into the atmosphere. In-situ mineralization occurs when carbon dioxide is injected directly into geologic formations of these absorptive minerals.  Ex-situ mineralization occurs in a laboratory, using chemicals to accelerate reaction times.

 

In-situ Mineralization in Iceland

Juerg Matter is conducting a field study (www.carbfix.com) on in-situ mineralization of carbon dioxide in collaboration with Reykjavik Energy, the University of Iceland and the University of Toulouse, France. At a geothermal energy plant in Iceland surrounded by a field of basalt, a rock type that reacts naturally with carbon dioxide and is found in many parts of the world, Matter is studying how fast the gas will mineralize into surrounding rocks when injected into the ground. Carbon dioxide is separated from the power plant’s flue gas stream in a gas treatment plant and transported in a pipeline to the injection site where it is injected into basalt at a depth of 540 meters below land surface.

Injection of CO2 was initiated in January 2012. A total amount of 2000 tons of CO2 will be injected during 12 months. Sulfurhexafluoride (SF6) and trifluormethylsulphur pentafluoride (SF5CF3), two conservative tracers, are co-injected with CO2 to monitor its advective and dispersive transport in the subsurface storage reservoir. The injected CO2 is also labeled with carbon-14, a reactive tracer. Labeling with carbon-14 allows quantitative monitoring of the chemical reactivity of the injected CO2 and accounting of in situ mineralization. Fluid and gas samples are collected in the injection and monitoring wells and shipped to our laboratory for tracer analysis on a regular basis. Furthermore, wire line core drilling into the storage reservoir will be conducted in spring 2013 to retrieve rock core samples for geochemical analysis.

In September 2009, the Earth Institute co-hosted the CarbFix international conference on carbon capture and sequestration, held at the Reykjavik Energy Power Plant in Iceland. The conference featured presentations by EI scientists Wally Broecker, Klaus Lackner, and Juerg Matter. Professor Martin Stute of Barnard and Lamont graduate student Diana Fernandez also attended the conference as part of the EI’s CarbFix team. Bringing together scientists from Europe and United States, the event focused on mineralization of carbon dioxide and on several on-going and planned pilot injection test projects. The LCSE organized a group of 15 invited guests from the U.S. representing industry, government, and academia who joined the EI scientists at the conference for an in-depth look at the CarbFix basalt sequestration project and Iceland’s important geological sites. A story about the visit to Iceland can be found here.

 
Researchers
Wallace Broecker, Newberry Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, broecker@ldeo.columbia.edu

Jürg Matter, Reader in Geoengineering at University of Southampton, United Kingdom; Lamont Adjunct Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, jmatter@ldeo.columbia.edu (PI)

Martin Stüte, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, martins@ldeo.columbia.edu

Jennifer Hall, Graduate Student, jhall@ldeo.columbia.edu

 


In-situ and Ex-situ Carbon Mineralization

For a detailed description of Professor Park’s research on Ex-situ Carbon Mineralization, please visit her research group’s website.

 
Researchers
Huangjing Zhao, PhD candidate, hz2206@columbia.edu

Ed Swanson, PhD candidate, ejs2163@columbia.edu

Greeshma Gadikota, PhD candidate, ge2131@caa.columbia.edu

Xiaozhou Zhou, PhD candidate, xz2220@columbia.edu

Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Lenfest Junior Professor, ap2622@columbia.edu (PI)

 

C-14 Tagging of CO2 for Geologic Storage

The LCSE is involved in an effort to monitor and account for geologic carbon dioxide storage. Our goal is to develop an inventory technology that makes it possible for the public to gain trust in the reality, safety and permanence of geologic carbon dioxide storage. The most effective method for a quantitative accounting is to tag the injected carbon dioxide with carbon-14 at atmospheric level (1 part per trillion). This concentration of carbon-14 does not exceed the natural carbon-14 level in the atmosphere, and since geologic storage reservoirs below 800 meters in depth are practically carbon-14 free, it is an extremely sensitive tag for anthropogenic carbon. To track the amount of tag injected, the LCSE team is collaborating with researchers at Rutgers University to develop a new carbon-14 detection system. In addition to monitoring carbon dioxide sequestration, this IntraCavity Opto-Galvanic Spectroscopy (ICOGS) System under development may also enable researchers in a wide array of other fields to carry out carbon-14 measurements. Funding for this research has been made possible by the Department of Energy and the RISE grant.

The Lenfest Center is working on this project in coordination with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Barnard College.

Researchers
Klaus Lackner, Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics,  klaus.lackner@columbia.edu (PI)

Juerg Matter, Reader in Geoengineering at University of Southampton, United Kingdom; Lamont Adjunct Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, jmatter@ldeo.columbia.edu

Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Lenfest Junior Professor, ap2622@columbia.edu

Peter Schlosser, Vinton Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, schlosser@ldeo.columbia.edu

Martin Stüte, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, martins@ldeo.columbia.edu

Allen Wright, Senior Staff Associate, awright@ei.columbia.edu

Cantwell Carson, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, cc3306@columbia.edu

Yinghuang Ji, PhD Candidate, yj2214@columbia.edu