Natural underground CO2 reservoir reveals clues about storage


Sandia National Lab Reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide quickly enough to minimize the effects of climate change may require more than just phasing out the use of fossil fuels. During the phase-out, we may need to keep the CO 2 we’re emitting from reaching the atmosphere—a process called carbon capture and sequestration. The biggest obstacle preventing us from using CCS is the lack of economic motivation to do it. But that doesn’t mean it’s free from technological constraints and scientific unknowns. One unknown relates to exactly what will happen to the CO 2 we pump deep underground. As a free gas, CO 2 would obviously be buoyant, fueling concerns about leakage. But CO 2 dissolves into the briny water found in saline aquifers at these depths. Once the gas dissolves, the result is actually more dense than the brine, meaning it will settle downward. With time, much of that dissolved CO 2 may precipitate as carbonate minerals. But how quickly does any of this happen? Having answers will be key to understanding how well we really sequester the carbon. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Natural underground CO2 reservoir reveals clues about storage


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