Keywords: geological sequestration, carbon dioxide, CO2 sequestration, carbon sequestration, coal bed methane, environmental impact, unmineable coal seams, toxic metals, water chemistry, toxic trace elements
Exploratory study of some potential environmental impacts of CO2 sequestration in unmineable coal seams
An initial investigation into the potential environmental impacts of CO2 sequestration in unmineable coal seams has been conducted, focusing on changes in the produced water during enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM) production, using a CO2 injection process (CO2-ECBM). A high volatile bituminous coal, Pittsburgh No. 8, was reacted with synthetic produced water and gaseous carbon dioxide at 40C and 50 bar to evaluate the potential for mobilisation of toxic metals during CO2-ECBM/sequestration. Microscopic and X-ray diffraction analysis of the post-reaction coal samples clearly show evidence of chemical reaction and chemical analysis of the synthetic produced water shows substantial changes in composition. These results suggest that changes to the produced water chemistry and the potential for mobilising toxic trace elements from coal beds are important factors to be considered when evaluating deep, unmineable coal seams for CO2 sequestration.