The open access article “Multi-layered systems for permanent geologic storage of CO2 at the gigatonne scale” of EASY GEO-CARBON team has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.
The effectiveness of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as an imperative decarbonization technology relies on the sealing capacity of a fine-grained caprock to permanently store CO2 deep underground. Uncertainties in assessing the caprock sealing capacity increase with the spatial and temporal scales and may delay CCS deployment at the gigatonne scale. We have developed a computationally efficient transport model to capture the dynamics of basin-wide upward CO2 migration in a multi-layered setting over geological time scales.
We find that massive capillary breakthrough and viscous flow of CO2 , even through pervasively fractured caprocks, are unlikely to occur and compromise the storage security. Potential leakage from the injection reservoir is hampered by repetitive layering of overlying caprocks. This finding agrees with geologic intuition and should be understandable by the public, contributing to the development of climate policies around this technology with increased confidence that CO2 will be indefinitely contained in the subsurface.