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Carbon dioxide capture and geological sequestration (CCS) is achieved by chemically capturing CO2 at a power plant or other source, before it is emitted to the atmosphere. The CO2 is then compressed and transported by pipeline to an appropriate site to be injected and stored, or “sequestered,” in geological formations deep underground. The technologies used and the storage concept are similar to those used in oil and natural gas exploration.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has initiated a State-funded research program to determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—a potent greenhouse gas—in New York geological formations. The public-private studies will be conducted by NYSERDA, in cooperation with research firms, energy developers, universities, and government agencies. NYSERDA is investing $1.7 million in this research effort; this funding is leveraged with an additional $2.3 million in cofunding from research partners.
Becker and Castagna are leading the effort to perform numerical simulations of CO2 injections, before any pilot projects are even begun. Numerical simulations will predict subsurface pressures, temperatures, gas saturations, and dissolved gas concentrations. As most of these injections will be primarily in secondary (fracture) porosity, an important component of these simulations is fracture/matrix interaction. CO2 in its supercritial form is non-wetting so capillary pressures must be overcome to force the CO2 into geologic formations.
Above: Preliminary simulation results for the Queenston formation. Pressure and gas saturation are shown after a period of 50 years injection at 30 kg/s CO2. X and Y scales are in meters.