Mineral Carbonation in Mantle Peridotite of the Samail Ophiolite, Oman: Implications for permanent geological carbon dioxide capture and storage

Amelia Nell Paukert
2017
Carbon dioxide capture and storage will be necessary to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Mineral carbonation - converting carbon dioxide gas to carbonate minerals - is a permanent and environmentally benign mechanism for storing carbon dioxide. The peridotite section of the Samail Ophiolite is host to exceptionally well-developed, naturally occurring mineral carbonation and serves as a natural analog for an engineered carbon dioxide storage project. This work characterizes the
more » ... aracterizes the geochemistry and hydrogeology of peridotite aquifers in the Samail Ophiolite. Water samples were collected from hyperalkaline springs, surface waters, and boreholes in peridotite, and recent mineral precipitates were collected near hyperalkaline springs. Samples were analyzed for chemical composition. Geochemical data were used to delineate water-rock-CO₂ reactions in the subsurface and constrain a reaction path model for the system. This model indicates that mineral carbonation in the natural system is limited by the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in water that infiltrates deep into the aquifer. The amount of carbon dioxide stored in the system could potentially be enhanced by carbon dioxide injection into the aquifer. Reaction path modeling suggests that injection of water at saturation with carbon dioxide at 100 bars pCO₂ and 90⁰C could increase the carbonation rate by a factor of up to 16,000 and bring carbonation efficiency to almost 100%. Dissolved gas samples from boreholes were collected at in situ conditions and analyzed for chemical composition. Boreholes with pH > 10 contain millimolar levels of dissolved hydrogen and/or methane, indicating these boreholes are located near areas of active low temperature serpentinization. Serpentinization rates were calculated using groundwater flow estimates and dissolved gas concentrations, and range from 3x10⁻⁸ to 2x10⁻⁶ volume fraction peridotite serpentinized per year. Additionally, laboratory incubation experiments show dissolved hydrogen can b [...]
doi:10.7916/d85m63wz fatcat:x63wzgxoorfohobhegcrzrm23a