Carbon, Capture Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS)
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13th Annual CCUS Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, April 29, 2014
PEM DOE NETL Cooperative Agreeement--Completed 04-2014
Project Title: Near-Surface Leakage Monitoring for the Verification and Accounting of Geologic Carbon Sequestration Using a Field Ready 14C Isotopic Analyzer
Principle Investigator: Bruno D.V. Marino PhD
PEM Inc. was awarded a cooperative agreement by the DOE National Energy and Technology Laboratory (NETL). The agreement, focused on deployment and testing of PEM's Global Monitor Platform (GMP) for improved monitoring, verification and accounting (MVA) of leakage of CO2 from geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) sites, was a four year effort. PEM's GMP is the only multi-isotopic platform providing direct measurement and differentiation of fossil-fuel derived CO2 (ff-CO2) and biogenic CO2. The cooperative agreement focused on developing skill in the detection of ff-CO2 leakage from a variety of sources including point, line and large-area-low-leakage sources as well as high sensitivity methods for analysis of groundwater and the soil atmosphere for accumulated leakage. The GMP was fabricated and tested in collaboration with the Kansas City Plant, Kansas City, MO, a DOE National Secure Manufacturing Facility.
The project approach was to document leakage of CO2 from natural sources (e.g., natural CO2 vents) likely to be emblematic of potential leakage routes for ff-CO2 of GSC projects. A range of natural CO2 source strengths and geological features were investigated in selected locations. The project field work was directed by Jennifer Lewicki of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Earth Sciences Division. The results and experiences of field investigations will be applied to active GSC projects.The illustration below shows generalized applications for the GMP in GCS projects. The GMP can be deployed with eddy covariance (EC) equipment, within the infrastructure of a project drawing on specific gas sources, or be deployed with soil accumulation chambers and CO2 extractors for sampling of groundwater or surface waters. Data from a GMP or an ensemble of GMP analyzers can be transmitted in real-time using telemetry to a data center. Analysis of data may employ a variety of numerical processes yielding results for carbon securities offerings.
Mammoth Mountain Field Work 2010
The projects first field season (2010) was completed at Mammoth Mountain, CA, a site of high flux of naturally occurring CO2 vents. Preliminary results for the GMP analyzer are under review. Results of the Mammoth Mountain eddy covariance studies are available (Lewicki, J.L.,Hilley, G.E., Laura Dobeck, L. and Marino, B.D.V. Eddy covariance imaging of diffuse volcanic CO2 emissions at Mammoth Mountain, CA, USA.DOI 10.1007/s00445-011-0503-y.)
Click on the links in the box (right) for photos of the field work, a montage of the tree-kill area and a bibliography for the Mammoth Mountain area.
Soda Springs Field Work 2011--Update, Phase II Field Work Completed 10-11-2011
The projects second field season in the Soda Springs, Idaho, area has been completed. PEM deployed soil accumulation chambers (LICOR Inc.), a gas extractor for dissolved CO2, CH4 and O2 (Axys Technologies, Inc.) and an eddy covariance system (J. Lewicki, Lawarence Berkeley National Laboratory) in and around a natural CO2 bubbling spring. Our objectives were to measure CO2 concentratrion and 13C and 14C isotopic composition with PEM's Global Monitor Platform for CO2 released from the site. The leakage of CO2 from this natural site provided a unique opportunity to validate PEM's measurement approaches and technology for leakage detection at operating GCS sites (see Figure below for generalized deployment options). The Soda Springs site was characterized by a riverine marsh environment with abundant vegetation, very different from the environment of the Mammoth Mountatin site studied in 2010. Results for the Soda Springs field work are available (Lewicki, J.L., G.E. Hilley, L. Dobeck, T.L. McLing, B.M. Kennedy, M. Bill, and B.D.V. Marino, Input of geologic CO2 into groundwater and the atmosphere, Soda Springs, ID, USA. Chemical Geology, 339, 61-70, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.06.013, 2013. Read local press about the Soda Springs field work.
PEMs 2012 Field Work Addressed Emissions from the City of Boston, MA
PEM deployed the GMP multi-isotopic analyzer atop a Boston University building in collaboration with Boston Univeristy. The goal was to characterize the fossil fuel dervied CO2 from automobiles and industrial emision sources. The background mega-city fingerprint of CO2 emissions will be used for comparison with those from simulated carbon capture and storage sites that are leaking CO2. The PEM analayses complemented ongoing data collection by BU including methane, CO2 and 13CO2 as well as diverse atmospheric and weather data. Analysis of the BU deployment data is underway.
PEMs 2013 Field Work Addressed Emissions from a Tower in Indianapolis, IN
PEMs 2013 deployment took place on the campus of Butler University, Indianapolis, IN. Atmospheric samples were drawn from an approximately 600' tower. The goal was to characterize CO2 emissions in a mid-western location amidst the city of Indianapolis and surrounding agricultural lands. The background city/agricultural fingerprint of CO2 emissions will be used for comparison with those from a simulated leaking carbon capture and storage facility. Ongoing sampling at the tower is being conducted by the Vulcan project to establish quantitative methods for mega-city emissions. Analysis of the Butler University data is underway.
A variety of publications resuling from the field work described are in preparation for submission to peer reviewed journals.
PEMs Global Monitor Platform (GMP) General Deployment Scheme for GCS Projects
Our Project Goals Included
- Measurement of 14C/12C ratios in air using a field ready isotopic analyzer with precision of ~ 2 per mil. 14C/12C ratios provide a direct, sensitive and natural signal for detection of ff-CO2. A 2 per mil analytical precision (D14C) allows detection of approximately 1 ppm ff-CO2 in background air.
- Simultaneous measurement of 13C/12C ratios with precision of < 0.3 per mil. The 13C/12C ratios while not well suited for detection of ff-CO2 are characteristic of ecosystem processes potentially linking ecosystem function with GSC storage and/or leakage.
- PEM's GMP may also be configured with traditional non-isotopic analyzers (e.g., methane, nitrous oxide, etc.).
- PEM's GMP may be configured with a variety of other instruments such as soil gas chambers, eddy covariance systems and dissolved CO2 extractors extending skill in detection and measurement of ff-CO2 in these environments.
- PEM's GMP analyzers are designed to be deployed in geographic networks with embedded standards and references. The GMP goes beyond single instrument analyses to integrated, process driven and data synthesis capabilities.
- A system level process resulting in data products eligible for carbon markets that are directly comparable across geographic monitoring locations worldwide.
- PEMs technologies and services offer high value to all phases of GSC projects from pre-injection baseline monitoring to injection, to capping and to long term (e.g., 100 years) surveillance and early warning requirements.
PEM's Collaborators and Service Providers Included
- The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (www.lbl.gov)
- LICOR Inc., Lincoln Nebraska (www.LICOR.com)
- Axys Technologies, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada (www.axystechnologies.com)
GCS and The DOE NETL
Rigorous and credible leakage detection technologies and services for GSC provide a path to meeting the energy requirements of society's lifeways while innovative alternative energy approaches are proven. According to the NETL (www.netl.doe.gov), coal-fired utility boilers provide 50%+ of the electricity in the United States. DOE's Energy Information Agency (EIA) projects that more than 300 GW of coal-fired electricity generating capacity currently in operation will increase to nearly 450 GW by 2030. The amount of CO2 produced from the combustion of fossil fuels in the United States has reached nearly 6 billion metric tons in 2007 according to EIA, with about 33% from the coal-fired electric power sector (Annual Energy Outlook 2007, Report #:DOE/EIA-0383(2007)). The current and projected number of GSC projects is growing emphasizing the urgent need for well developed and rigorous MVA technology and services.
PEM's GSC MVA innovations support the DOE's goals for the GSC sector including (www.netl.doe.gov):
- Completion of a material balance with 99 percent accuracy and develop MVA protocols that enable 99 percent of stored CO2 to be credited as net emissions reduction in 2012.
- By 2014, develop improved algorithms to enhance the monitoring of CO2 injected into deep geologic formations.
- By 2018, demonstrate that a suite of technologies coupled with simulation can be used to accurately determine leakage rates (if they exist) from a storage reservoir.