Team member research relevant to the mission of CERTAIN.

Dave Cole, Interim Director

Title:  Nanoscale Control on Geologic CO2, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center 
Source of support:  Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  
Award Amount:  $540,000 (as PI)
Project Period:  08/01/2014 – 01/31/2019
Description: This project is divided into two main topic areas.  The first is designed to develop a workflow (combining standard petrophysics, advanced electron microscopy and neutron scattering) that predicts mineral-specific surface areas from the nano- to the formation scale for both reservoir and caprock. Through the use of NMR and micro-XCT, the second aspect addresses how the size, distribution and connectivity of confined geometries (pores, fractures) dictate how fluids and dissolved species migrate into and through these nano- and micro-environments, wet and react with the rock.

Title:  Nanopore Confinement of C-H-O Mixed Volatile Fluids Relevant to Subsurface Energy Systems 
Source of support:  Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences
Award Amount:  $400,000 (as PI)
Project Period:  01/01/2018 – 12/31/2020
Description: This project uses novel experimental and cutting edge computational approaches to quantify the effect nanoporosity, pore wall chemistry and structure, and the presence of water and aqueous solutions on the molecular-level properties and reactivity of geologically relevant carbon-bearing fluids at state conditions up to 150oC and 100 MPa. 

Title: Monitoring of Geological CO2 Sequestration Using Isotopes and PF Tracers 
Source of support:  Department of Energy, UT-Battelle
Award Amount:  $600,165 (co-PI as of 2018)
Project Period:  12/21/2013 – 12/28/2018
Description: Perfluorocarbon tracers, gas and stable isotopic compositions obtained from studies of CO2 injection into the Frio, TX and Cranfield, MS brine-dominated systems have provided important quantitative insights into the behavior of CO2 during water-brine-rock interactions. This effort incorporates perfluorocarbon tracers, gas and brine chemistry, phase behavior, and stable isotope results into novel simulations to improve quantitative models of CO2 plume activity in the Cranfield MS reservoir system for carbon storage. Modeling of the physical as well as chemical signals directly related to CO2 injection will provide the basis for developing strategies that lead to better managed subsurface stress and how to effectively manipulate formation permeability. 

Title: Reduced Carbon in Earth: Origins, Forms, Quantities and Movements 
Source of support:  A.P. Sloan Foundation; Deep Carbon Observatory
Award Amount:  $73,320 (as PI)
Project Period:  07/01/2017 – 12/31/2019
Description:  This project involves utilizing neutron scattering techniques to measure the evolution of pore size and specific surface area distribution in partially to completely serpentinized rocks. These analyses will test whether serpentine and accessory phases form with their own, inherent porosity, which can accommodate the bulk of diffusive fluid flow during serpentinization and thereby permitting continued serpentinization after voluminous serpentine minerals fill reaction-generated porosity. Samples will be obtained from the Oman system (P. Kelemen, Columbia University; J. Matter, South Hampton Univ.), and experiments performed by T. McCollom and I. Daniel as well as those from the Cole group. Upon characterization, small cores of Oman samples will be used in NMR experiments to interrogate the behavior of geo-fluids (e.g., water, water+CO2; water+methane) to quantify diffusive flow. These data can then be transferred to the larger-length scale reactive-transport models of fluids in serpentinized oceanic crust. A second effort involves use of more complex geo-fluids modeled by the Striolo group in neutron spectroscopy studies to experimentally quantify pore-fluid interactions. This study will determine the microstructure of the fluids in the pores as well as the dynamical behavior such translational diffusion. These quantities are compared to molecular simulation results determined by the Striolo group who can use this information in their up-scaling activity.

Title: Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL) 
Source of support:  Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, West Virginia University
Award Amount:  $137,147 (as PI)
Project Period:  10/01/2014 – 03/31/2019
Description: This study is divided into two speared but related studies: 1) Determine the nature of the pores hosting the gas, liquids and oil from the nano- to the mesoscale including porosity, gas permeability, pore volume and connectivity, organic content and pore mineralogy; and 2) Determine how these pore features change as a consequence of interaction with various fracking fluids at temperature and pressure conditions relevant to the formation – i.e., water-rock interaction experiments at relevant subsurface pressure and temperature conditions.

Title: Sequestration of CO2 and Co-Contaminants into Geological Formations in Ohio 
Source of support:  Ohio Coal Research and Development Program
Award Amount:  $159,958 (as PI)
Project Period:  01/18/2018 – 02/28/2020
Description: The project approach involves the use of geochemical models in concert with key experiments that aim to constrain and quantify the chemical reactions resulting from interactions of CO2 and co-contaminant gas streams with rock formation minerals and native subsurface brines. Trace levels of co-contaminants SOx, NOx, and HCl, even though they may only comprise a few percent of the total gas composition, could have profound impacts on the geo-sequestration of CO2 in deep basin brines because they have the potential to produce acidity and promote mineral dissolution that would enhance porosity and permeability of the subsurface, thereby increasing CO2 trapping. We plan to leverage baseline information on select rock properties of specific subsurface reservoirs and associated seal or cap rocks in Ohio obtained during a previous OCDO-sponsored study conducted in the Subsurface Energy Materials Characterization and Analysis Laboratory (SEMCAL) at Ohio State.

Title:Acquisition of a second-generation liquid water isotope analyzer for hydrological, glaciological, and geochemical research
Source of support:  National Science Foundation
Award Amount:  $99,690 (as co-PI)
Project Period:  08/01/17 – 07/31/2018
Description: Instrument proposal to obtain a water O and H isotope analyzer for use in characterizing injectate and flowback fluds from gas shale drilling sites.

Title:Acquisition of X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer with Near Ambient Pressure and High Temperature Capabilities for Discovering New Material Phenomena with In Situ Studies
Source of support:  National Science Foundation - Major Research Instrumentation
Award Amount:  $699,300 (as co-PI)
Project Period:  09/15/2016 – 08/33/2019
Description: Acquisition of an XPS spectrometer to explore the surface chemistry of olivine and related basaltic minerals interacted with fluids of varying composition and pH relevant to the storage of CO2 in serpentinized rock.