Research Project on CO2 Geological Storage and Groundwater Resources: Water Quality Effects Caused by CO2 Intrusion into Shallow Groundwater

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One promising approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is injecting CO{sub 2} into suitable geologic formations, typically depleted oil/gas reservoirs or saline formations at depth larger than 800 m. Proper site selection and management of CO{sub 2} storage projects will ensure that the risks to human health and the environment are low. However, a risk remains that CO{sub 2} could migrate from a deep storage formation, e.g. via local high-permeability pathways such as permeable faults or degraded wells, and arrive in shallow groundwater resources. The ingress of CO{sub 2} is by itself not typically a concern to the water quality ... continued below

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Birkholzer, Jens; Apps, John; Zheng, Liange; Zhang, Yingqi; Xu, Tianfu & Tsang, Chin-Fu October 1, 2008.

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One promising approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is injecting CO{sub 2} into suitable geologic formations, typically depleted oil/gas reservoirs or saline formations at depth larger than 800 m. Proper site selection and management of CO{sub 2} storage projects will ensure that the risks to human health and the environment are low. However, a risk remains that CO{sub 2} could migrate from a deep storage formation, e.g. via local high-permeability pathways such as permeable faults or degraded wells, and arrive in shallow groundwater resources. The ingress of CO{sub 2} is by itself not typically a concern to the water quality of an underground source of drinking water (USDW), but it will change the geochemical conditions in the aquifer and will cause secondary effects mainly induced by changes in pH, in particular the mobilization of hazardous inorganic constituents present in the aquifer minerals. Identification and assessment of these potential effects is necessary to analyze risks associated with geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. This report describes a systematic evaluation of the possible water quality changes in response to CO{sub 2} intrusion into aquifers currently used as sources of potable water in the United States. Our goal was to develop a general understanding of the potential vulnerability of United States potable groundwater resources in the event of CO{sub 2} leakage. This goal was achieved in two main tasks, the first to develop a comprehensive geochemical model representing typical conditions in many freshwater aquifers (Section 3), the second to conduct a systematic reactive-transport modeling study to quantify the effect of CO{sub 2} intrusion into shallow aquifers (Section 4). Via reactive-transport modeling, the amount of hazardous constituents potentially mobilized by the ingress of CO{sub 2} was determined, the fate and migration of these constituents in the groundwater was predicted, and the likelihood that drinking water standards might be exceeded was evaluated. A variety of scenarios and aquifer conditions was considered in a sensitivity evaluation. The scenarios and conditions simulated in Section 4, in particular those describing the geochemistry and mineralogy of potable aquifers, were selected based on the comprehensive geochemical model developed in Section 3.

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  • Report No.: LBNL-1251E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/944435 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 944435
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898865

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  • October 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 5:33 p.m.

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Birkholzer, Jens; Apps, John; Zheng, Liange; Zhang, Yingqi; Xu, Tianfu & Tsang, Chin-Fu. Research Project on CO2 Geological Storage and Groundwater Resources: Water Quality Effects Caused by CO2 Intrusion into Shallow Groundwater, report, October 1, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898865/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.