Physical and economic potential of geological CO2 storage in saline aquifers.
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Carbon sequestration in sandstone saline reservoirs holds great potential for mitigating climate change, but its storage potential and cost per ton of avoided CO2 emissions are uncertain. We develop a general model to determine the maximum theoretical constraints on both storage potential and injection rate and use it to characterize the economic viability of geosequestration in sandstone saline aquifers. When applied to a representative set of aquifer characteristics, the model yields results that compare favorably with pilot projects currently underway. Over a range of reservoir properties, maximum effective storage peaks at an optimal depth of 1600 m, at which point 0.18-0.31 metric tons can be stored per cubic meter of bulk volume of reservoir. Maximum modeled injection rates predict minima for storage costs in a typical basin in the range of $2-7/ ton CO2 (2005 U.S.$) depending on depth and basin characteristics in our base-case scenario. Because the properties of natural reservoirs in the United States vary substantially, storage costs could in some cases be lower or higher by orders of magnitude. We conclude that available geosequestration capacity exhibits a wide range of technological and economic attractiveness. Like traditional projects in the extractive industries, geosequestration capacity should be exploited starting with the low-cost storage options first then moving gradually up the supply curve.
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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
Dr. Richard G. Newell is the President and CEO of Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent, nonprofit research institution that improves environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the administrator of the US Energy Information Administration, the agency responsible for official US government energy statistics and analysis. Dr. Newell is an adjunct professor at Duke University, where he
Gendell Family Professor of Energy and Environment
Lincoln Pratson is a professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment's Division of Earth & Ocean Sciences. He has been Chair of EOS, Director of the Duke University Energy Hub, Associate Director of the Gendell Center for Engineering, Energy & the Environment at Duke, served on the Executive Committee for the Research Triangle Energy Consortium (https://www.rtec-rtp.org/), and was a co-founder & co-director of the Sustainable Energy Fellowship (http://www.teachenergy.org/). Prats
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