Soil Surface Leak Detection From Carbon Storage Sites Using ∆(CO2:O2)  Measurements

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Md Monzurul Alam, Ann Lise Norman and David B Layzell, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
The early detection and remediation of CO2 leaks from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites is essential for the safety and public support of the technology. A model that integrates gas diffusion, mass flow and biological processes in soils was developed and used to predict the ∆CO2 and ∆O2 concentration differential between the soil surface and the bulk atmosphere under a wide range of environmental conditions that include temperature, soil gas and water content, soil respiratory quotient and rate of O2 uptake, soil porosity and CO2 leakage rate. The results predicted that measurement of ∆(CO2:O2) measurements at the soil surface relative to air should be able to detect a CCS leak as low as 2 µmol/m2/sec. To test this hypothesis, a gas analysis system was designed and constructed. It should allow a series of experiments under controlled conditions to test all aspects of the model. It is hoped that the results from this work will ultimately lead to the development of a new instrument and protocol for the early detection of CO2 leaks from a geological storage sites.