Optimal Geological Environments for Carbon Dioxide Disposal in Saline Aquifers in the United States

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This study focuses on one of the options proposed to reduce United States CO2 emissions by extracting CO2 from power-plant exhaust and pumping it down boreholes into deeply buried saline formations. Developing a method for compiling realistic information to identify, assess, and compare saline formations to "prospect" for those with the optimum capacity for sequestration is the purpose of this study. The target is defined as saline-water-bearing formations isolated from the atmosphere and potable water supplies by very long travel times, which allows for exploration for large volumes of saline formations near high CO2 output power plants.

This study was undertaken in four tasks: (1) a literature search to define properties to evaluate a saline-water-bearing formation, (2) identification of prospective study areas for this pilot study using 1996 carbon output from power plants, (3) review of literature to extract information to create case studies of saline-water-bearing formations, and (4) tabulation of information and demonstration of the utility of the data compiled using a GIS.


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