Radiocarbon as a Reactive Tracer for Tracking Permanent CO2 Storage in Basaltic Rocks Email Page
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Performer: Trustees of Columbia University
Aerial photograph of the Hellisheidi geothermal power<br/>plant and the CarbFix CO<sub>2</sub> geologic storage site, which<br/>includes one injection and several monitoring wells. The<br/>geothermal power plant, which is approximately 3 km<br/>to the north of the injection site is the source of the CO<sub>2</sub>.
Aerial photograph of the Hellisheidi geothermal power
plant and the CarbFix CO2 geologic storage site, which
includes one injection and several monitoring wells. The
geothermal power plant, which is approximately 3 km
to the north of the injection site is the source of the CO2.
Website: Columbia University
Award Number: FE0004847
Project Duration: 10/01/2010 – 09/30/2015
Total Award Value: $1,364,699.00
DOE Share: $1,019,030.00
Performer Share: $345,669.00
Technology Area: Geologic Storage
Key Technology: Geochemical Impacts
Location: Palisades, New York

Project Description

Columbia University researchers are testing and evaluating carbon-14 (14C) as a reactive tracer to assess CO2 transport in a basaltic storage reservoir. Evaluation of mineral trapping through carbonation is also being completed. Studies are conducted at the CarbFix CO2 pilot injection site in Iceland. The study evaluated 14C in combination with trifluormethylsulphur pentafluoride (SF5CF3) as a conservative tracer to monitor the CO2 transport in a storage reservoir. In addition, the study is helping to verify in situ mineral carbonation by performing laboratory analyses on retrieved fluid and rock samples.

Researchers obtained fluid and rock samples from the CarbFix CO2 pilot injection site in Iceland where the injected CO2 is labeled with 14C. Samples were analyzed to study the extent of mineral carbonation in a basaltic storage reservoir. Carbon-14 in combination with d13C, total dissolved carbonate and SF5CF3 analyses are being used to quantify carbonation and to estimate in situ reaction rates for the basalt reservoir. The 14C, d13C, and the total dissolved or precipitated carbon data from the fluid and rock samples were used to estimate a carbon mass balance for the CarbFix site. The study drilled a 600 meter borehole and retrieved core and samples to also verify the mineral carbonation.

Project Benefits

Samples are being analyzed to determine the extent of mineral carbonation that occurs when CO2 is injected into a basaltic storage reservoir. This effort is improving current storage methods by analyzing fluid samples to characterize the CO2 dispersion in the basalt. Results are being integrated to assess the use of the tracers for determining reservoir flow and geochemical reactivity, and to assess in situ mineral carbonation in basalt storage formations, thereby contributing to better storage technology thus reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Karen Kluger: Karen.kluger@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager Traci Rodosta: traci.rodosta@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator Juerg Matter: Jmatter@ldeo.columbia.edu

 

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