Design of a perfluorocarbon tracer based monitoring network to support monitoring verification and accounting of sequestered CO2
Brookhaven Science Associates, PO Box 5000, Upton, NY 11973-5000, USA
The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have been growing since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The current level is 391 ppm. If there are no efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions, the levels will rise to 750 ppm by 2100. Geologic carbon sequestration is one strategy that may be used to begin to reduce emissions. Sequestration will not be effective unless reservoir leak rates are significantly less than 1%. There must be rigorous monitoring protocols in place to ensure sequestration projects meet regulatory and environmental goals. Monitoring for CO2 leakage directly is difficult because of the large background levels and variability of CO2 in the atmosphere. Using tracers to tag the sequestered CO2 can mitigate some of the difficulties of direct measurement but a tracer monitoring network and the levels of tagging need to be carefully designed. Simple diffusion and dispersion models are used to predict the surface and atmospheric concentrations that would be seen by a network monitoring a sequestration site. Levels of tracer necessary to detect leaks from 0.01 to 1% are presented and suggestions for effective monitoring and protection of global tracer utility are presented.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.