One such research project, overseen by geologist Brandon Nuttall at the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kentucky, has investigated the option for geologic sequestration of captured CO2 in Devonian black shales, organic-rich rocks found beneath about two thirds of Kentucky.
Geologic sequestration refers to the process of permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide captured from sources such as coal-fired power plants, cement plants, and others manufacturing plants. Widespread deposits of shale are generally thought to be the seal or cap for deeper storage reservoirs that would prevent sequestered CO2 from leaking to the surface. Injection of CO2 into black gas-producing shales may have an additional value of enhancing the recovery of natural gas.
In the three year project funded by National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Nuttall determined that the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky could provide a potentially large geologic storage reservoir for captured CO2. In fact, the extensive occurrence of shales in geologic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional reservoir for economic CO2 sequestration.
Analysis of 43 shale samples from 11 recent drilled wells in the Appalachian Basin of eastern Kentucky and the Illinois Basin in Indiana demonstrated that Devonian black shales in Kentucky could sequester as much as 28 billion tons of injected CO2. The analyses done for Nuttall’s project indicate that in the five-county Big Sandy Gas Field area of eastern Kentucky alone, 6.2 billion tons of CO2 could be sequestered.
“In the sequestration process, carbon dioxide is ‘adsorbed’ by the shales, which means the CO2 forms a molecular bond with the shale,” Nuttall says. “The shale may, in turn, ‘desorb’ natural gas when carbon dioxide is present. Natural gas fields in shaly areas are therefore considered potential candidate sites for carbon sequestration because the injection of CO2 for permanent storage may also help extract additional natural gas.”
The project’s final report, entitled “Analysis of the Devonian Black Shale in Kentucky for Potential Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Enhanced Natural Gas Production,” is available online at the KGS web site.
Nuttall’s Devonian shale research is continuing, in an effort to demonstrate the economic viability of the production of natural gas displaced by CO2 injection. He is working with several surrounding states on research efforts funded by the Department of Energy’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships programs, which are active nationwide. These efforts will result in a better understanding of shales as gas reservoirs, sequestration targets, and seals for deeper reservoirs.
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy