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NETL develops tool to estimate prospective CO2 storage in subsurface

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World Coal,

NETL has developed a tool to better predict carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in geologic formations. The innovation is called CO2-SCREEN and was designed to estimate underground storage potential for CO2 captured from fossil fuel burning power plants.

Large, permeable, porous rock volumes are ideal for securely storing captured CO2. Storage of CO2 in these geological reservoirs is crucial for successful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. CO2-SCREEN, which stands for CO2 Storage prospeCtive Resource Estimation Excel aNalysis, was developed to provide a substantive, user-friendly, and consistent mechanism to calculate CO2 storage resources so that decision makers have enough information to reach crucial conclusions.

Since 2007, NETL has worked with partners to create an atlas of carbon storage regions in the United States and parts of Mexico and Canada. CO2-SCREEN is an on-line tool that applies NETL’s method to calculate prospective CO2 storage resources.

NETL’s Angela Goodman, Ph.D., and Sean Sanguinito spearheaded the development of CO2-SCREEN, which estimates saline formation storage potential based on pore volume calculations and efficiency factors that gauge the total pore volume accessible for CO2 storage.

CO2-SCREEN is composed of an Excel file used for data inputs and outputs, and a GoldSim Player file used to run Monte Carlo simulations. GoldSim is a flexible platform used to visualise and dynamically simulate complex systems in engineering and science that allows users to create and manipulate data and equations and evaluate how systems evolve over time for predictions about future behaviour. A Monte Carlo simulation is a computerised mathematical technique that allows researchers to account for risk in quantitative analysis and decision making.

The Excel file in NETL’s CO2-SCREEN allows a user to input subsurface geological physical parameter values and establish ranges for storage efficiency factors. The GoldSim Player accesses that data and calculates probability estimates for CO2 storage resources using the Monte Carlo technique and then outputs the values back into the Excel file.

The first version of CO2-SCREEN was developed to estimate prospective CO2 storage resource in saline formations. However, modified versions are being developed to estimate prospective CO2 storage resource in shale formations and enhanced oil recovery operations.

“The methods are intended for application by interested users globally as a way for decision makers to make high level, energy-related government policy and business decisions related to carbon storage activities,” Goodman said. Sanguinito added that “CO2-SCREEN is a tool that allows users to consistently apply DOE methods to estimate prospective CO2 storage resources and identify subsurface locations that may be targeted for future CO2 storage operations.”

CO2-SCREEN is available on NETL’s online collection of capabilities and resources known as Energy Data eXchange (EDX).

NETL methods and tools related to underground storage have been used internationally, including in China, Canada, Israel, Sweden and Norway. Since 2007, the Laboratory’s Regional Carbon Storage Partners (RCSPs) have used NETL innovations to estimate prospective CO2 storage in the US and parts of Mexico and Canada.

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