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Title: Prospects for large-scale implementation of carbon sequestration in basalt: capacity, storage security, and the rate of mineral trapping
Authors: Postma, Tom Jan Willem
Advisors: Celia, Michael A.
Contributors: Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Keywords: basalt
mineral trapping
numerical modeling
reactive transport
reservoir simulation
Subjects: Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In the effort to arrest global climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) continues to be considered an important technology. Unfortunately, it has been slow to develop, due in part to a lack of robust financial incentives to capture CO2 that would otherwise be emitted. In addition, remaining uncertainties regarding key aspects such as the long-term fate of the injected CO2 and the continued availability of storage capacity result in perceived societal and financial risks around CCS. This dissertation addresses several topics related to the viability of large-scale CO2 storage projects, with an emphasis on CO2 storage and subsequent mineral trapping in basalt formations. The application and development of efficient field-scale numerical models form a common theme throughout. In chapter 2, I assess the risk of significant CO2 leakage through abandoned wellbores if CO2 storage is deployed in mature sedimentary basins. The results indicate that leakage of CO2 through abandoned wells is unlikely to be a major limitation for storage security. In chapter 3, I develop a flexible, efficient numerical modeling tool for CO2 storage in reactive formations, by combining a vertically integrated model of two-phase flow in porous media with a fully customizable geochemistry solver. The model provides a platform for extensive field-scale modeling studies that can help address some of the remaining barriers to large-scale implementation of CO2 storage in basalt. In chapter 4, I use this new simulation capability to explore the behavior of the water-CO2-basalt system under conditions of a full-scale injection of supercritical CO2. The time scales on which full mineralization of the injected CO2 is achieved are on the order of centuries, rather than the years or months observed in small-scale pilot projects. This is an important result, that appears to be a direct consequence of the increase in scale of the injection and the associated changes in CO2 mass transport dynamics. In chapter 5, I evaluate the potential for CO2 storage in the Deccan Traps, a large basalt province in India. The results show that the potential CO2 storage volume is likely to be much more limited than is often assumed, which could have significant consequences for India’s climate ambitions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering

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