January 10, 2017
Journal Article

Field Validation of Supercritical CO2 Reactivity with Basalts


Continued global use of fossil fuels places a premium on developing technology solutions to minimize increases in atmospheric CO2 levels. CO2 storage in reactive basalts might be one of these solutions by permanently converting injected gaseous CO2 into solid carbonates. Herein we report results from a field demonstration where ~1000 MT of CO2 was injected into a natural basalt formation in Eastern Washington State. Following two years of post-injection monitoring, cores were obtained from within the injection zone and subjected to detailed physical and chemical analysis. Nodules found in vesicles throughout the cores were identified as the carbonate mineral, ankerite Ca[Fe, Mg, Mn](CO3)2. Carbon isotope analysis showed the nodules are chemically distinct as compared with natural carbonates present in the basalt and clear correlation with the isotopic signature of the injected CO2. These findings provide field validation of rapid mineralization rates observed from years of laboratory testing with basalts.

Revised: February 16, 2017 | Published: January 10, 2017


McGrail B.P., H.T. Schaef, F.A. Spane, J.B. Cliff, O. Qafoku, J.A. Horner, and C.J. Thompson, et al. 2017. Field Validation of Supercritical CO2 Reactivity with Basalts. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4, no. 1:6-10. PNNL-SA-119127. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00387