Fingerprinting industrial CO2 and testing noble gas and clumped isotope tracers and the Carbon Management Canada Field Research Station Enquiry

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Geosciences

Abstract

This project will generate new knowledge relevant to the worldwide problem of monitoring secure CO2 storage and identifying unplanned CO2 migration from an engineered storage site. It includes training in stable, clumped and noble gas isotope geochemical measurement techniques and undertake sampling and analysis of captured COifrom industrial processes in the UK. These fingerprinting techniques are applied to tracing CO2 injected into the Carbon Management Canada Field Research Station and use these to identify the fate of the CO2 injected into the site. The initial phase of the project will build on the recent work outlined above and undertake sampling and noble gas and C and O stable and clumped isotope analysis of CO2 captured from industrial processes including hydrogen production, steel manufacturing and cement production. These fingerprints will be compared to existing measurements of captured CO2 from power plants to establish how the fuel source, and temperature of the industrial process controls the natural tracer fingerprint. The results of these analysis will then be used to assess how effective these natural fingerprints will be in determining the fate of the injected CO2 in different engineered storage reservoirs and in tracing unplanned migration of the CO2 out of the storage site. he second portion of the project will build on an existing collaboration between researchers at the University of Edinburgh, and Carbon Management Canada (CMC) who have developed the field research station (FRS) facility in Alberta, Canada, following a $4.9-million investment by the Federal Government. The FRS is designed to inject CO2 into two relatively shallow horizons (300 and 500 m depth), enabling a large scale study of how CO2 may behave if it migrates from a deeper CO2 storage site. The site design permits sampling of subsurface fluids at various depths, and we will perform noble gas and clumped isotope analysis on the CO2 injected into the site and compare it to measurements made in migrated CO2 samples. These measurements will be used to establish how well the noble gas and clumped fingerprint of the injected CO2 is retained as it migrates through the subsurface and identify trapping mechanisms and degree of trapping efficiency of the injected CO2.
The final phase of the study will perform a comparison of this noble gas and clumped isotope data to other monitoring techniques which will be utilised at the FRS (e.g. stable isotope measurements). This will be combined with the fingerprints measured in industrial CO2 from the initial phase of the project and allow determination of how effective inherent fingerprints within industrial CO2 will be at tracing the migration and fate of that CO2 when it is injected into an engineered storage site.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2188484 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/09/2016 28/02/2020 Rachel Emma Utley
 
Description Key Findings: The FRS site in Canada is a custom built site for CO2 injection and monitoring. Baseline measurements show that old, radiocarbon dead methane is pervasive within the shallow subsurface. Eighteen months of monitoring have show a fluid connection from depth. Geochemical analysis of injected CO2 shows a distinct variation in the isotopic signature of the baseline compared to the injective gas, mainly an increase in 84Kr and 132Xe, in turn showing potential as a monitoring tool of CO2 within the reservoir, without the need to pre-spike the gas.
Exploitation Route Dr Stuart Gilfillan has secured funding to hire a post-doc to follow on from this research. This research has huge potential for tracking subsurface CO2 without the need for gas spiking, making it a cheap and effective monitoring tool. This could have huge potential for the CCUS industry, and for other subsurface gas migration tracking techniques.
Sectors Energy,Environment

 
Description The identification of elevated 84Kr and 132Xe within injected CO2 will be able to be successfully utilised by Carbon Management Canada in the subsurface monitoring of CO2 at the Field Research Station.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Economic

 
Description IEAGHG Secondment
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 08/2020
 
Description NPIF Innovation Placement
Amount £1,954 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 08/2019
 
Description UKCCSRC Travel Grant
Amount £400 (GBP)
Organisation UK Carbon Capture & Storage Research Centre 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 08/2017
 
Title Excel Spreadsheet of Data 
Description A spreadsheet of all dat collected from Canada has been complied. All data collected by Edinburgh scientists may be shared, however samples collected and analysed by NRCAN would need prior written permission. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Database could be easily shared by all researchers 
 
Description CAMI Field Research Site 
Organisation Carbon Management Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Together with the partners listed, we formed a research team to sample and analyse subsurface gases and fluids at a custom built subsurface monitoring station for CO2 injection in Alberta, Canada. The site was run and managed by Carbon Management Canada, in collaboration with The University of Calgary, who provided site specific knowledge and access. Their staff members also aided in sample collection. Due to the site location, NRCAN undertook regular sampling trips, and sent samples to Ohio State University and SUERC for analysis. From samples sent to the UK, the grant holder undertook all lab analysis, and subsequent data interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution University of Calgary- CAMI field site joint project, provided staff for site access, specific information and help with sampling. Carbon Management Canada- Provided site access, knowledge and aided in the writing and editing of academic papers (to be published). NRCAN- Undertook regular sampling trips to collect subsurface gas and water samples. Paid for sample analysis at Ohio State University. Principal co-author on academic papers. Ohio State- Undertook (paid) analysis (noble gas geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry). Edited academic papers. University of Glasgow (SUERC)- Grant holder undertook lab work, was given training by staff members and aided in editing academic papers. University of Edinburgh (grant holder and team)- Brought collaborative team together, undertook 2 sampling trips to Canada, analysed samples and were principal investigators of project.
Impact Academic paper currently about to be submitted (whilst grant holder wrote, was collaborative effort). Conference presentations (PETEX18, GHGT-14)
Start Year 2016
 
Description CAMI Field Research Site 
Organisation Natural Resources Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Together with the partners listed, we formed a research team to sample and analyse subsurface gases and fluids at a custom built subsurface monitoring station for CO2 injection in Alberta, Canada. The site was run and managed by Carbon Management Canada, in collaboration with The University of Calgary, who provided site specific knowledge and access. Their staff members also aided in sample collection. Due to the site location, NRCAN undertook regular sampling trips, and sent samples to Ohio State University and SUERC for analysis. From samples sent to the UK, the grant holder undertook all lab analysis, and subsequent data interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution University of Calgary- CAMI field site joint project, provided staff for site access, specific information and help with sampling. Carbon Management Canada- Provided site access, knowledge and aided in the writing and editing of academic papers (to be published). NRCAN- Undertook regular sampling trips to collect subsurface gas and water samples. Paid for sample analysis at Ohio State University. Principal co-author on academic papers. Ohio State- Undertook (paid) analysis (noble gas geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry). Edited academic papers. University of Glasgow (SUERC)- Grant holder undertook lab work, was given training by staff members and aided in editing academic papers. University of Edinburgh (grant holder and team)- Brought collaborative team together, undertook 2 sampling trips to Canada, analysed samples and were principal investigators of project.
Impact Academic paper currently about to be submitted (whilst grant holder wrote, was collaborative effort). Conference presentations (PETEX18, GHGT-14)
Start Year 2016
 
Description CAMI Field Research Site 
Organisation Ohio State University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Together with the partners listed, we formed a research team to sample and analyse subsurface gases and fluids at a custom built subsurface monitoring station for CO2 injection in Alberta, Canada. The site was run and managed by Carbon Management Canada, in collaboration with The University of Calgary, who provided site specific knowledge and access. Their staff members also aided in sample collection. Due to the site location, NRCAN undertook regular sampling trips, and sent samples to Ohio State University and SUERC for analysis. From samples sent to the UK, the grant holder undertook all lab analysis, and subsequent data interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution University of Calgary- CAMI field site joint project, provided staff for site access, specific information and help with sampling. Carbon Management Canada- Provided site access, knowledge and aided in the writing and editing of academic papers (to be published). NRCAN- Undertook regular sampling trips to collect subsurface gas and water samples. Paid for sample analysis at Ohio State University. Principal co-author on academic papers. Ohio State- Undertook (paid) analysis (noble gas geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry). Edited academic papers. University of Glasgow (SUERC)- Grant holder undertook lab work, was given training by staff members and aided in editing academic papers. University of Edinburgh (grant holder and team)- Brought collaborative team together, undertook 2 sampling trips to Canada, analysed samples and were principal investigators of project.
Impact Academic paper currently about to be submitted (whilst grant holder wrote, was collaborative effort). Conference presentations (PETEX18, GHGT-14)
Start Year 2016
 
Description CAMI Field Research Site 
Organisation University of Calgary
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Together with the partners listed, we formed a research team to sample and analyse subsurface gases and fluids at a custom built subsurface monitoring station for CO2 injection in Alberta, Canada. The site was run and managed by Carbon Management Canada, in collaboration with The University of Calgary, who provided site specific knowledge and access. Their staff members also aided in sample collection. Due to the site location, NRCAN undertook regular sampling trips, and sent samples to Ohio State University and SUERC for analysis. From samples sent to the UK, the grant holder undertook all lab analysis, and subsequent data interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution University of Calgary- CAMI field site joint project, provided staff for site access, specific information and help with sampling. Carbon Management Canada- Provided site access, knowledge and aided in the writing and editing of academic papers (to be published). NRCAN- Undertook regular sampling trips to collect subsurface gas and water samples. Paid for sample analysis at Ohio State University. Principal co-author on academic papers. Ohio State- Undertook (paid) analysis (noble gas geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry). Edited academic papers. University of Glasgow (SUERC)- Grant holder undertook lab work, was given training by staff members and aided in editing academic papers. University of Edinburgh (grant holder and team)- Brought collaborative team together, undertook 2 sampling trips to Canada, analysed samples and were principal investigators of project.
Impact Academic paper currently about to be submitted (whilst grant holder wrote, was collaborative effort). Conference presentations (PETEX18, GHGT-14)
Start Year 2016
 
Description CAMI Field Research Site 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Together with the partners listed, we formed a research team to sample and analyse subsurface gases and fluids at a custom built subsurface monitoring station for CO2 injection in Alberta, Canada. The site was run and managed by Carbon Management Canada, in collaboration with The University of Calgary, who provided site specific knowledge and access. Their staff members also aided in sample collection. Due to the site location, NRCAN undertook regular sampling trips, and sent samples to Ohio State University and SUERC for analysis. From samples sent to the UK, the grant holder undertook all lab analysis, and subsequent data interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution University of Calgary- CAMI field site joint project, provided staff for site access, specific information and help with sampling. Carbon Management Canada- Provided site access, knowledge and aided in the writing and editing of academic papers (to be published). NRCAN- Undertook regular sampling trips to collect subsurface gas and water samples. Paid for sample analysis at Ohio State University. Principal co-author on academic papers. Ohio State- Undertook (paid) analysis (noble gas geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry). Edited academic papers. University of Glasgow (SUERC)- Grant holder undertook lab work, was given training by staff members and aided in editing academic papers. University of Edinburgh (grant holder and team)- Brought collaborative team together, undertook 2 sampling trips to Canada, analysed samples and were principal investigators of project.
Impact Academic paper currently about to be submitted (whilst grant holder wrote, was collaborative effort). Conference presentations (PETEX18, GHGT-14)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Blog of PhD Fieldwork 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact After undertaking fieldwork in Canada, I was approached by SCCS to write a blog about my experience, and to highlight the good work being undertaken in CCUS. Over 100 people read my blog when it was published, highlighting an increased knowledge of CCUS, the research being undertaken by The University of Edinburgh and the methodology involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sccs.org.uk/news-events/recent-news/415-blog-learning-from-the-experts-and-fieldwork-in-...
 
Description GeoScience Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact For the academic years 16/17 and 17/18 I taught GeoScience Outreach to undergraduate honours students at The University of Edinburgh. This was aimed at developing student skills in being able to successfully communicate their science to a wider audience. Approximately 40 students a year where chosen (the course was oversubscribed) to attend this year long course. The students, along with their mentors (grant holder included) had to design and execute an outreach activity for an audience of their choice. There where a wide range of projects, from teaching prisoners in Scotland about the natural world, to designing stone sculptures a geo-heritage parks. The teaching team got nominated for a Teaching Excellence award, and the course generated an increased awareness of Earth Sciences. It also inspired a few students future career paths.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL https://geoscienceoutreach.wordpress.com/
 
Description Sutton Trust Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Sutton Trust Summer School seeks to raise aspirations of young people from low and middle income backgrounds and to increase their chances of accessing top universities, hence the running of the week long summer school in 2018 and 2019. Around 10 students per year attended Edinburgh for a week long experience in Earth Sciences, in order for them to experience university life as first generation students. At the end of the week, all students had expressed a strong interest in applying to University with some participants choosing to study Earth Science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/geosciences/about/news/20180712/sutton-trust-summer-school%E2%80%99s-earth...
 
Description UKCCSRC Winter School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Over 50 CCUS PhD students and post-doctoral researchers met at the UKCCSRC Winter School in 2017 to learn about the future of CCUS and discuss and present our research. I was one of few subsurface professionals in attendance, the majority working upon the upstream applications of CCUS and was able to share knowledge on subsurface challenges in CCUS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://ukccsrc.ac.uk/blog_posts/winter-school-blog-a-platform-to-meet-discuss-future-collaborations...