Potential impacts of leakage from deep CO2 geosequestration on overlying freshwater aquifers.
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Carbon Capture and Storage may use deep saline aquifers for CO(2) sequestration, but small CO(2) leakage could pose a risk to overlying fresh groundwater. We performed laboratory incubations of CO(2) infiltration under oxidizing conditions for >300 days on samples from four freshwater aquifers to 1) understand how CO(2) leakage affects freshwater quality; 2) develop selection criteria for deep sequestration sites based on inorganic metal contamination caused by CO(2) leaks to shallow aquifers; and 3) identify geochemical signatures for early detection criteria. After exposure to CO(2), water pH declines of 1-2 units were apparent in all aquifer samples. CO(2) caused concentrations of the alkali and alkaline earths and manganese, cobalt, nickel, and iron to increase by more than 2 orders of magnitude. Potentially dangerous uranium and barium increased throughout the entire experiment in some samples. Solid-phase metal mobility, carbonate buffering capacity, and redox state in the shallow overlying aquifers influence the impact of CO(2) leakage and should be considered when selecting deep geosequestration sites. Manganese, iron, calcium, and pH could be used as geochemical markers of a CO(2) leak, as their concentrations increase within 2 weeks of exposure to CO(2).
Environmental Restoration and Remediation
Water Pollutants, Chemical
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1021/es102235w
Publication InfoLittle, Mark G; & Jackson, Robert B (2010). Potential impacts of leakage from deep CO2 geosequestration on overlying freshwater aquifers. Environ Sci Technol, 44(23). pp. 9225-9232. 10.1021/es102235w. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4027.
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Adjunct Professor of Earth & Ocean Sciences
Robert B. Jackson is the Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change in the Earth and Ocean Sciences Division of the Nicholas School of the Environment and a professor in the Biology Department. His research examines how people affect the earth, including studies of the global carbon and water cycles, biosphere/atmosphere interactions, energy use, and global change. Rob Jackson received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University (1983). He worked four years for the Dow