The Carbon Storage effort is conducted by the Celia Group, the Debenedetti Group, the Peters Group, the Prèvost Group, and the Scherer Group, The Storage Group uses laboratory investigations and computer models to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of geological CO2 sequestration.
A particular focus of the group is the potential for CO2 storage in saline aquifers in the vicinity of oil and gas fields. These areas offer an appealing opportunity for storage, since their existence proves that a seal can keep hydrocarbons contained for millions of years, and seismic and borehole data offer considerable insight into the nature of subsurface strata. However, oilproducing areas in North America have been punctured by many thousands of existing wells, so assessing whether CO2 will stay stored or leak up through these potential conduits to the surface requires understanding the behavior of injected CO2 in an aquifer, interaction of CO2 with individual wells and sealing cements, and probabilities for leakage over a large area.
Recently, the group's investigations of the challenges of CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers have been complemented by a scouting effort in a new area of research - molecular level investigations of CO2 hydrates that could serve as an additional storage medium.