B. Roth, Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research; K. Hernon, W.
Lassetter, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy; N. Ripepi,
Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research
Carbon Management Technology Conference,
7-9 February 2012,
Orlando, Florida, USA
The geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) is increasingly being recognized
as a suitable means of sequestering this greenhouse gas. The Piedmont and
Coastal Plain physiographic provinces of the eastern United States contain a
large number of greenhouse gas emissions sources, such as power plants and
other industrial facilities, but little work has been carried out to examine
the potential of local geologic carbon storage.
In order to address this issue, a preliminary investigation into the carbon
sequestration potential within the Virginia Piedmont and Coastal Plain has been
conducted. This paper builds on previous work directed by the Southeast
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) and the Southern States
Energy Board (SSEB) in conjunction with the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology
(BEG), examining potential sinks for geologic storage of carbon dioxide
generated by power plants in the Southeastern region of the U.S.
Detailed geologic characterization has been carried out, which investigated
formations with 1) suitable porosity, permeability, and favorable injectivity,
2) favorable storage capacity characteristics, 3) suitable mineralogical
properties, and 4) overlying geologic seals to prevent the vertical movement of
the injected CO2. These characteristics were evaluated based on publicly
available subsurface geologic information, published maps and cross-sections,
available core, and wireline log data. The suitability characteristics for the
potential carbon sinks are based on the specific criteria established in the
previous Coastal Characterization Studies for the Carolinas and Georgia.
Based on the regional investigation, it was determined that the presence of
Mesozoic-age sedimentary basins, namely the Taylorsville and Richmond Basins,
and, offshore, the Potomac aquifer, provided the most suitable potential
reservoirs for large-scale storage of CO2. In addition to the geologic
characterization, a cost analysis was conducted for source- to-sink matching.
This was completed in order to determine a lowest cost scenario for transport
of CO2 from the producing power plant to the most suitable sequestration site.
This multi-disciplinary research has been carried out by the Virginia Center
for Coal and Energy Research (VCCER) at Virginia Tech and the Virginia
Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME).