WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 20, 2010) -- The capture and storage of carbon dioxide in deep geologic formations, a strategy for minimizing the impacts of greenhouse gases on global warming, may currently be technologically feasible. But one key question that must be answered is the ability of subsurface materials to maintain their integrity in the presence of supercritical carbon dioxide -- a fluid state in which the gas is condensed at high temperature and pressure into a liquid.
A research team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed tools in EMSL, a national user facility at PNNL, to study the effects of supercritical CO2 on minerals commonly found in potential storage sites. They are presenting their results today at the AVS 57th International Symposium & Exhibition, which takes place this week at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.
"The mechanisms of surface interactions with carbon dioxide under these conditions are unknown," says Scott Lea of PNNL. "We need to know if the carbon dioxide can dry out the clay minerals, creating cracks or have other interactions that could create pores in the rock."
Because carbon dioxide will be stored at pressures many times greater than atmospheric pressure, the integrity of the rock must be assured.
The same temperature and pressure conditions create a challenge for researchers trying to observe changes in rock samples as they occur. The PNNL group will present a high pressure atomic force microscope (AFM) head that can integrate with existing commercial systems. The new AFM is designed to handle pressures up to 1500 psi. The presentation will show that the AFM head is capable of operating at temperatures and pressures required to maintain carbon dioxide in a supercritical state and that the noise levels are low enough to observe the atomic scale topographic changes due to chemical reactions that may occur between mineral substances and supercritical CO2.
The presentation, "Enabling the Measurement of In-Situ, Site-Specific Mineral Transformation Rates in Supercritical CO2 through Development of a High Pressure AFM" is at 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.
MORE INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS
The AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition is being held October 17-22, 2010, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting includes more than 1,200 talks and posters presented in more than 130 technical sessions. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center, can be found at:
REGISTRATION -- Staff reporters and professional freelance journalists working on assignment are invited to attend the conference free of charge. Journalist registration instructions can be found at:
The AVS press room will be located in East Lobby of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Press room hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number there is 408-205-0595. Press Kits containing company product announcements and other news will be available on CD-ROM in the press room. Also access the online press room at: http://www2.
Complete Program: http://www2.
Searchable abstracts: http://www.
Topical Conferences: http://www2.
Meeting Home Page: http://www2.
The plenary talk, "Carbon Nanotubes and Single Sheet Graphene," which will be at noon on Monday, October 18, 2010 in Ballroom B of the Albuquerque Convention Center. See: http://www2.
AVS promotes communication, dissemination of knowledge, recommended practices, research, and education in a broad range of technologically relevant topics. One way that it does this is by offering special tutorials in areas such as:
- Graphene Tutorial (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
- Tutorial on Nanoparticle Characterization and Toxicity: Significant Challenges and Critical Needs (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)
To access the complete descriptions of these special tutorials, see:
As a professional membership organization, AVS fosters networking within the materials, processing, and interfaces community at various local, national or international meetings and exhibits throughout the year. AVS publishes four journals, honors and recognizes members through its prestigious awards program, offers training and other technical resources, as well as career services.