Protecting Drinking Water by Reducing Uncertainties Associated with Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Deep Saline Aquifers, Illinois State Water Survey

Groundwater Science

State wide

Protecting Drinking Water by Reducing Uncertainties Associated with Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Deep Saline Aquifers

Principal Investigators: William R. Roy1, Sally Benson3, Peter Berger1, Ethan Chabora3, Ivan G. Krapac1, Yu-Feng Forrest Lin2, Edward Mehnert1, Samuel V. Panno1, and Chittaranjan Ray4 (in alphabetical order)

Project Period: 2009-2012
Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) is led by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), and has actively been engaged in geologic sequestration research since 2003. This three-year study will accomplish five research tasks. These tasks are designed to leverage the on-going U. S. Department of Energy's Phase III deep saline reservoir demonstration. The results of this project should help reduce uncertainties associated with geologic carbon sequestration in deep, saline reservoirs, and thus protect groundwater quality.

The first three tasks address pressure monitoring in and above the injection reservoir. In the first task, available formation pressure at natural gas storage fields will be compiled and analyzed to help define the baseline pressure in the Mt. Simon sandstone in the Illinois Basin. In the second task, the pressure response in the injection reservoir and above its caprock will be monitored with the Westbay system, and will be evaluated using analytical and numerical models. This effort may provide the protocols and methodology for applying the Westbay system for commercial-scale CO2 storage projects. In the third task, basin-scale, flow, and transport models of the Mt. Simon sandstone will be developed to predict potential impacts of future geologic carbon sequestration projects. These models will be used to guide future data collection efforts and to design monitoring strategies.

The purpose of the fourth task is to conduct laboratory interaction studies using high-pressure, high-temperature reaction vessels to identify the reaction mechanisms, kinetics, and solid-phase products that are likely to occur in saline sandstone reservoirs with siltstone caprocks. These gas-vapor-rock batch experiments will be conducted using available and MGSC-obtained core samples. In the fifth task, we propose to collect baseline data for discharge estimates and geologic sources of saline groundwater for the Illinois Basin. These baseline data could be used to compare different natural brine seeps versus brine that has been displaced by carbon dioxide sequestration.

Selected Related Publications:

Zhou Q., J. T. Birkholzer, H. Leetaru, E. Mehnert, Y-F. Lin, and K. Zhang. In -print. Modeling Basin- and Plume-Scale Processes of CO2 Storage for Full-Scale Deployment. Ground Water. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2009.00657.x.


1Illinois State Geological Survey, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
2Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
3Stanford University, Stanford, California
4University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii


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