Geochemist raises questions about carbon sequestration at Goldschmidt Conference

June 16, 2010

KNOXVILLE -- As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, policy makers and scientists are looking at new ways to tackle the problems associated with the greenhouse gas.

One method under much discussion is carbon capture and storage (CCS), otherwise known as carbon sequestration. CCS, a newly developing technology, involves injecting carbon dioxide underground to remove it from the Earth's atmosphere.

Donald J. DePaolo, a distinguished geochemist from the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, raised new questions about carbon sequestration today during the Goldschmidt Conference hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

DePaolo's presentation focused on the significance of geochemistry in analyzing the effectiveness of proposed carbon sequestration. He examined how current plans for carbon storage could benefit by paying more attention to the critical role of underground chemical reactions. For instance, when carbon dioxide comes into contact with water in underground aquifers, it can form a weak acid that will start to dissolve minerals in the rocks. According to DePaolo, research is needed to analyze how fast such reactions proceed and which minerals are affected to better gauge the efficiency of carbon storage projects.

DePaolo's presentation, entitled "Carbon sequestration geochemistry," aims to open encouragement for other geochemists to start addressing the importance of geochemical questions in carbon storage programs.
-end-
This year's Goldschmidt Conference is being held during the week of June 13-18 in Knoxville, Tenn. Several thousand geochemists from around the world are presenting new scientific discoveries dealing with the Earth, energy and the environment.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Related Atmosphere Articles from Brightsurf:

ALMA shows volcanic impact on Io's atmosphere
New radio images from ALMA show for the first time the direct effect of volcanic activity on the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io.

New study detects ringing of the global atmosphere
A ringing bell vibrates simultaneously at a low-pitched fundamental tone and at many higher-pitched overtones, producing a pleasant musical sound. A recent study, just published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, shows that the Earth's entire atmosphere vibrates in an analogous manner, in a striking confirmation of theories developed by physicists over the last two centuries.

Estuaries are warming at twice the rate of oceans and atmosphere
A 12-year study of 166 estuaries in south-east Australia shows that the waters of lakes, creeks, rivers and lagoons increased 2.16 degrees in temperature and increased acidity.

What makes Saturn's atmosphere so hot
New analysis of data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft found that electric currents, triggered by interactions between solar winds and charged particles from Saturn's moons, spark the auroras and heat the planet's upper atmosphere.

Galactic cosmic rays affect Titan's atmosphere
Planetary scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) revealed the secrets of the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

Physics: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

Using lasers to visualize molecular mysteries in our atmosphere
Molecular interactions between gases and liquids underpin much of our lives, but difficulties in measuring gas-liquid collisions have so far prevented the fundamental exploration of these processes.

The atmosphere of a new ultra hot Jupiter is analyzed
The combination of observations made with the CARMENES spectrograph on the 3.5m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory (Almería), and the HARPS-N spectrograph on the National Galileo Telescope (TNG) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma) has enabled a team from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and from the University of La Laguna (ULL) to reveal new details about this extrasolar planet, which has a surface temperature of around 2000 K.

An exoplanet loses its atmosphere in the form of a tail
A new study, led by scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), reveals that the giant exoplanet WASP-69b carries a comet-like tail made up of helium particles escaping from its gravitational field propelled by the ultraviolet radiation of its star.

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
Exoplanets can orbit close to their host star. When the host star is much hotter than our sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star.

Read More: Atmosphere News and Atmosphere Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.