February 27, 2018
Journal Article

CO2 Mineral Sequestration in Naturally Porous Basalt


Continental flood basalts are extensive geologic features currently being evaluated as reservoirs that are suitable for long-term storage of carbon emissions. Favorable attributes of these formations for containment of injected carbon dioxide (CO2) include high mineral trapping capacity, unique structural features, and enormous volumes. We experimentally investigated mineral carbonation in whole core samples retrieved from the Grand Ronde basalt, the same formation into which ~1000 t of CO2 was recently injected in an eastern Washington pilot-scale demonstration. The rate and extent of carbonate mineral formation at 100 °C and 100 bar were tracked via time-resolved sampling of bench-scale experiments. Basalt cores were recovered from the reactor after 6, 20, and 40 weeks, and three-dimensional X-ray tomographic imaging of these cores detected carbonate mineral formation in the fracture network within 20 weeks. Under these conditions, a carbon mineral trapping rate of 1.24 ± 0.52 kg of CO2/m3 of basalt per year was estimated, which is orders of magnitude faster than rates for deep sandstone reservoirs. On the basis of these calculations and under certain assumptions, available pore space within the Grand Ronde basalt formation would completely carbonate in ~40 years, resulting in solid mineral trapping of ~47 kg of CO2/m3 of basalt.

Revised: May 22, 2018 | Published: February 27, 2018


Xiong W., R. Wells, J.A. Horner, H.T. Schaef, P. Skemer, and D.E. Giammar. 2018. CO2 Mineral Sequestration in Naturally Porous Basalt. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 5, no. 3:142-147. PNNL-SA-133317. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00047