The chemistry and saturation states of subsurface fluids during the in situ mineralisation of CO2 and H2S at the CarbFix site in SW-Iceland

Snæbjörnsdóttir, Sandra Ó., Oelkers, Eric H., Mesfin, Kiflom, Aradóttir, Edda Sif, Dideriksen, Knud, Gunnarsson, Ingvi, Gunnlaugsson, Einar, Matter, Juerg M., Stute, Martin and Gislason, Sigurdur R. (2017) The chemistry and saturation states of subsurface fluids during the in situ mineralisation of CO2 and H2S at the CarbFix site in SW-Iceland International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 58, pp. 87-102. (doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2017.01.007).


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In situ carbonation of basaltic rocks could provide a long-term carbon storage solution, which is essential for the success and public acceptance of carbon storage. To demonstrate the viability of this carbon storage solution, 175 tonnes (t) of pure CO2 and 73 tonnes (t) of a 75% CO2-24% H2S-1% H2-gas mixture were sequentially injected into basaltic rocks at the CarbFix site at Hellisheidi, SW-Iceland from January to August 2012. This paper reports the chemistry and saturation states with respect to potential secondary minerals of sub-surface fluids sampled prior to, during, and after the injections. All gases were dissolved in water during their injection into permeable basalts located at 500–800 m depth with temperatures ranging from 20 to 50 °C. A pH decrease and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) increase was observed in the first monitoring well, HN-04, about two weeks after each injection began. At storage reservoir target depth, this diverted monitoring well is located ∼125 m downstream from the injection well. A significant increase in H2S concentration, however, was not observed after the second injection. Sampled fluids from the HN-04 well show a rapid increase in Ca, Mg, and Fe concentration during the injections with a gradual decline in the following months. Calculations indicate that the sampled fluids are saturated with respect to siderite about four weeks after the injections began, and these fluids attained calcite saturation about three months after each injection. Pyrite is supersaturated prior to and during the mixed gas injection and in the following months. In July 2013, the HN-04 fluid sampling pump broke down due to calcite precipitation, verifying the carbonation of the injected CO2. Mass balance calculations, based on the recovery of non-reactive tracers co-injected into the subsurface together with the acid-gases, confirm that more than 95% of the CO2 injected into the subsurface was mineralised within a year, and essentially all of the injected H2S was mineralised within four months of its injection. These results demonstrate the viability of the in situ mineralisation of these gases in basaltic rocks as a long-term and safe storage solution for CO2 and H2S.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2017.01.007
ISSNs: 1750-5836 (print)
Related URLs:
Organisations: Geochemistry
ePrint ID: 406522
Date :
Date Event
9 January 2017Accepted/In Press
1 March 2017Published
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2017 02:22
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 09:44
Further Information:Google Scholar

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