Project Evaluation: Phase II: Optimal Geological Environments for Carbon Dioxide Disposal in Brine-Bearing Formations (Aquifers) in the United States

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Brine-bearing formations hold significant potential for long-term storage and disposal of greenhouse gases, particularly the large volumes of CO2 produced as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. The extensive industry experience in underground injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), gas storage, and deep-well waste injection demonstrates the feasibility of disposal into geologic environments using existing technology. Moreover, it is feasible that the residence time for injected CO2 would be adequate to prevent significant negative impacts on overlying potable water or the atmosphere. Several ongoing and planned projects indicate that underground injection technologies are transferable to the injection of CO2 for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, brine formations are typically underutilized, resulting in a lack of comprehensive documentation of subsurface properties in easily accessible formats. Realistic and quantitative information about the relevant characteristics of the subsurface is essential for assessing the feasibility, costs, and risks of various options for CO2 disposal in brine formations. In this study, we have compiled and integrated a database of realistic properties of brine formations. This database is designed with a geographic structure in a geographic information system (GIS) so that it can be used to match CO2 emitters with prospective sinks.


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