Carbon Capture and Storage
Chapter 8: An Introduction to Subsurface CO2 Storage
Published:29 Nov 2019
Special Collection: 2019 ebook collection , ECCC Environmental eBooks 1968-2022Series: Energy and Environment
S. Krevor, M. J. Blunt, J. P. M. Trusler, and S. De Simone, in Carbon Capture and Storage, ed. M. Bui and N. Mac Dowell, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, ch. 8, pp. 238-295.
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The costs of carbon capture and storage are driven by the capture of CO2 from exhaust streams or the atmosphere. However, its role in climate change mitigation is underpinned by the potential of the vast capacity for storage in subsurface geologic formations. This storage potential is confined to sedimentary rocks, which have substantial porosity and high permeability in comparison to crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks. These in turn occur in the sedimentary basins of the Earth's continents and near shore. However, the specific capacity for storage is not correlated simply to the existence of a basin. Consideration must also be made of reservoir permeability, caprock integrity, injectivity, fluid dynamics, and geomechanical properties of pressurisation and faulting. These are the topics addressed in this chapter. These processes and properties will combine in complex ways in a wide range of settings to govern the practicality of storing large volumes of CO2. There is clear potential for storage at the scale required to mitigate the worst impacts of global climate change, estimated to be in the order of 10 Gt CO2 per year by 2050. However, until at least dozens of commercial projects have been built in a range of geologic environments, the upper reaches of what can be achieved, and how quickly, will remain uncertain.