Saline Aquifers: Storage for Greenhouse Gases

A new study by researchers at MIT shows that there is enough capacity in deep saline aquifers in the United States to store at least a century's worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Most analyses have simply estimated the overall volume of the formations, without considering the dynamics of how the carbon dioxide would infiltrate them. The MIT team's analysis is led by Ruben Juanes, the ARCO Associate Professor in Energy Studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is part of the doctoral thesis work of graduate students Christopher MacMinn and Michael Szulczewski. Using tiny glass beads, the researchers simulated the way liquified carbon dioxide would spread through salty water in the pores of deep rock formations.