Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep saline and depleted oil geologic formations is feasible and promising; however, possible CO2 or CO2-saturated brine leakage to overlying aquifers may pose environmental and health impacts. The purpose of this study was to experimentally define a range of concentrations that can be used as the trace element source term for reservoirs and leakage pathways in risk simulations. Storage source terms for trace metals are needed to evaluate the impact of brines leaking into overlying drinking water aquifers. The trace metal release was measured from cements and sandstones, shales, carbonates, evaporites, and basalts from the Frio, In Salah, Illinois Basin, Decatur, Lower Tuscaloosa, Weyburn-Midale, Bass Islands, and Grand Ronde carbon sequestration geologic formations. Trace metal dissolution was tracked by measuring solution concentrations over time under conditions (e.g., pressures, temperatures, and initial brine compositions) specific to the sequestration projects. Existing metrics for maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for drinking water as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) were used to categorize the relative significance of metal concentration changes in storage environments because of the presence of CO2. Results indicate that Cr and Pb released from sandstone reservoir and shale cap rocks exceed the MCLs by an order of magnitude, while Cd and Cu were at or below drinking water thresholds. In carbonate reservoirs As exceeds the MCLs by an order of magnitude, while Cd, Cu, and Pb were at or below drinking water standards. Results from this study can be used as a reasonable estimate of the trace element source term for reservoirs and leakage pathways in risk simulations to further evaluate the impact of leakage on groundwater quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry